Bridge of Gold is an entertaining history lesson about the building of the Golden Gate Bridge during the Gold Rush era. Imagine constructing a 1.7-mile suspension bridge in the 1930s without modern equipment? To set the footings, divers wore clunky suits that weighed hundreds of pounds with heavy copper helmets. It’s mind blowing to me.
As I read, I stopped many times to do online research. San Francisco’s famous fog and rocky coastline make for a deadly combination. There are an estimated three hundred wrecks in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the adjacent Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Fascinating.
But I digress. Bridge of Gold is a multilayered story of greed, love, and faith set over the course of a century. Author Kimberley Woodhouse deftly balances multiple narratives and timelines, beginning with the modern day. The mayor of San Francisco hires underwater archaeologist Kayla Richardson to excavate a shipwreck at the Golden Gate Bridge repair site. Kayla and the head of the restoration team, Steven Michaels, discover a skeleton wrapped in chains and something else… gold. Mystery, danger, and romance follow in quick succession.
The other timeline takes place in 1933. Luke Moreau is looking to build a life in San Francisco with his fiancé and takes a job working on the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. When he finds a gold nugget and sees a sunken ship, his life is upended. Can he fend off ruthless gold hunters?
Most historical fiction is fairly long, but this book came in at just 256 pages. Although the conclusion was interesting, it seemed rushed. I found the present-day narrative more gripping, which is the opposite of my normal preference. Even though I wasn’t sold on the writing, the plot and faith elements made it worth the read. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
“But as his thoughts turned darker toward Augustus, he felt convicted in his heart. Jesus died for all. And that included Augustus. No, God. No. I do not want to think of him as redeemable. He killed my friend! But the pressing on his heart didn’t stop. He closed his eyes and fought the feeling that he had to repent and show the love of Christ to the man beside him.” ~ Kimberley Woodhouse, Bridge of Gold.