This book was given to me by Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
A chapel car is a train car that looks like a sanctuary inside with a tiny living space. This is what Reverend Irvine and his daughter Hope travel in. Reverend Irvine preaches and Hope plays the organ, sings, and teaches the children. At Finch, one of the towns the chapel car stops at, Hope meets two young men. Luke is a struggling coal miner who has dreams of becoming a pastor. Kirby is an unhappy mine manager who was sent there by his father and is looking for a way out. When Kirby offers to take Hope to the neighboring villages to teach the children Hope quickly agrees. Luke suspects that Kirby has an ulterior motive.
The Chapel Car Bride was written by Judith Miller and published by Bethany House Publishers in 2017.
Miller writes about the conflict between right and wrong. Luke ultimately represents the right although he makes a few mistakes while Kirby represents the wrong even though he does do a few charitable acts. Hope is suspended between the two men not knowing who to trust. She suspects Luke of being jealous of Kirby and she wants to believe that not all mine managers are the same but she does concede that Luke knows more about these things than she does.
Hope wants to do what is right and serve God while she’s in Finch. She thinks that Kirby’s offer to drive her to neighboring towns is an answer to prayer, and she never suspects that his motives are less than charitable. Soon he asks her to do something she knows is wrong with the threat of never taking her back to those towns. Hope wants to tell other people about God but she doesn’t want to betray Luke’s trust.
Luke has dreams of being a preacher someday. He starts to meet with Hope’s father every morning for Bible study and eventually starts preaching at some of the meetings. All the while he gets to know Hope better and better and begins to hope that they could become more than friends.
Kirby is the son of the owner of the mining company. He doesn’t take much interest in the business and was sent there by his father as a punishment for gambling in the hope that his son would become more responsible. Kirby’s only thoughts are to get out and to win the affection of Hope.
Nellie is Luke’s younger sister. She is about Hope’s age and the two girls become fast friends. Nellie goes with Kirby and Hope to the neighboring towns and she helps with Sunday School.
Finch is a little mining town in the middle of nowhere. The people in it don’t take well to newcomers and it is hard for Hope and her father to integrate themselves into the community. The woods are off-limits and when you hear that someone is “gardening” or “hunting” you can be sure that they’re in the woods.
I enjoyed this book. I thought that it was well-written and well-edited. I would definitely recommend this book to any of my friends.