Life has just passed me on by......but I have a desire to put thought down on paper (or on screen!) again and will be doing so with the things that I love.
Bethany House Publishing does not pay me to endorse their books, but I do receive books from them in which they ask for my honest opinion. This latest one was a jewel! It was a story that really transported the reader back in time to a world of chapel-car ministries along the railroad, the poor, uneducated and un-reached people groups that lived in the mountains and the intrigue and danger of men who made and sold illegal moon-shine during the time of prohibition. This book is entitled "The Chapel Car Bride," and was written by Judith Miller. I have read several books written by this author and Ms. Miller truly has a gift for story-telling. She brings across her love of God through fiction stories and they are always set in very interesting historical times.
One thing that I loved about this book is that there was a measure of danger for the Hope, the main character. Hope accompanied her father, a travelling minister, for her first time with his chapel car ministry. She had a musical talent and a love for reaching children, so she fit right into his missionary works and was able to help him in many ways. They settle in a very small and remote town of Finch, WV. While there she encounters the men and families of the coal-mining industry. She also meets and falls in love with a man who loves the Lord as much as she does. She unwittingly gets involved in a plot to deliver illegal moonshine to speak-easies, when she believes that she is simply riding along with a man sympathetic to the needs of un-reached children in neighboring towns. I love the way that you can see God's hand weaving His way throughout the story, until the very last page.
Honestly, the only thing that I would change about this book is the title. Because it is entitled "The Chapel Car Bride," one would assume that the story was perhaps about a newly-wed couple. In fact, Hope does not have any desire to marry if it is not in God's plans for her. Though of course she does marry in the end, it is literally within the last chapter of the book.
I loved reading about a time period that with which I do not have much familiarity. I did not even realize that chapel car ministry was a even a way that early missionaries would reach people. It does make sense, though, with the railroad being fairly new, that missionaries would be called to travel along the lines and be able to reach more people than ever before. I would recommend this to anyone who loves reading Christian historical fiction, if they want a fast and "feel-good read!
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