Hope Irvine always sees the best in people. While traveling on the rails with her missionary father, she attracts the attention of a miner named Luke and a young mine manager. When Luke begins to suspect the manager is using Hope’s missions of mercy as a cover for illegal activities, can he discover the truth without putting her in danger?
The Chapel Car Bride was an interesting historical story taking place in the early 1900’s in West Virginia. I had not ever heard of chapel cars before or of their ministry as preachers would travel from town to town to take God’s message to folks. Especially in this story, Hope and her father are bringing the message to those who live in mining towns. We also get a look at how closed off the towns could be when strangers came. This is no surprise as there is very little trust between the miners and the mine owners, especially the dangerous conditions the miners worked in for low pay and the mine owners’ reluctance to change anything due to their greed.
This also takes place during the time of prohibition. The extra money that the miners make on their illegal moonshine that they sell to the speakeasies and the animosity between them and the revenuers sent to stop them is a powder keg about to explode. This is what Hope and her father ride into when they stop at their destination, the town of Finch. They are not the only newcomers as Kirby Finch, the son of Mr. Finch and the mine owner has come as well to squelch any strike talk or union uprisings.
In the midst of all this drama we do have and old-fashioned love story that begins to take root between Hope and Luke, a local town resident and mine worker. But throw in all the dangers, mistrust, and jealousy and you have a story that takes you back to an interesting time in our nation’s history. I very much enjoyed this intriguing snapshot of a historical tidbit I knew nothing of.
I received a copy of this book for free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to post a positive review and all the views and opinions expressed are my own.