The CHAPEL CAR BRIDE by Judith MillerThe CHAPEL CAR BRIDE by Judith Miller


byJudith Miller

Paperback | April 4, 2017

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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?
Title:The CHAPEL CAR BRIDEFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:April 4, 2017Publisher:Baker PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0764219057

ISBN - 13:9780764219054

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Irresistable Combination When it is well-written and compelling, Christian Historical Fiction cannot be beaten by any other genre (or at least that’s my opinion!). For many years Bethany House Publishers have excelled at releasing superior historical novels that not only meet expectations, but usually go above and beyond them. A new Bethany House release written by Judith Miller, the award-winning author of dozens of Historical Fiction novels, is a winner on all counts. “The Chapel Car Bride” combines a fascinating piece of little-known history with well-rounded characters to form a highly enjoyable story that transports you back in time to 1913, to a little mining town called Finch. Have you ever heard of a chapel car ministry? I certainly hadn’t before picking up this novel! In the story, Hope Irvine travels with her Pastor father in a train car which has been converted into 77 feet of chapel area and 18 feet of living quarters. This unique structure allows the Irvines to travel to small communities that are without a permanent church building, preaching the Gospel and sharing the love of Jesus anywhere there is a rail line to transport them! At times the chapel car remains on a spur of the rail line for months, and other times their stay lasts only a few days. All in all, this setting makes the perfect backdrop for a unique historical novel... Certainly the most unique part of “The Chapel Car Bride” is the setting. I can’t name another story that takes place in a railcar-converted-into-a-church, can you? Add in bootlegging locals, union-striking miners, romance, conflict, and inspiring elements of faith, and the combination is irresistible for readers! “The Chapel Car Bride” is truly Christian Historical Fiction at its best. “Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”
Date published: 2017-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A joy of a read I love discovering unknown-to-me bits of history in the pages of a novel. I mean, seriously, a chapel car ministry? How cool is that? Imagine a train car set up as a chapel with a small section at the back blocked off for living quarters. It's the original tiny house! And the chapel car can be disconnected and left behind to minister to the people in small communities along the railroad line. How did I not hear about this before? Such an awesome backdrop for a historical romance. And then there's the discontent and wariness of close-knit coal mining towns in West Virginia. Poor wages, dangerous work, unfair treatment by mine managers. It all adds a sense of danger and even some intrigue to the plot. Hope is eager to prove herself as she accompanies her father on his ministry tour for the first time. She"s not prepared for the abject poverty she encounters, the rough-and-tumble existence in the remote mining towns. But the girl has grit and determination and a love for the Lord that fuels her desire to serve through her music and children's ministry. Luke is the family breadwinner, providing for his mother and siblings on his limited mining income. He"s as intrigued by the chapel car as I am. :-) A man of faith, it isn"t long before he becomes enmeshed in the Irvine's lives and ministry...with a certain fascination for the preacher's daughter. A sweet inspirational romance rich in historical details and filled with captivating characters. A joy of a read. Book provided courtesy of Bethany House and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.
Date published: 2017-05-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A historical, Christian romance novel! The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller begins in the spring of 1913. Hope Irvine along with her father, Reverend Layton Irvine, a traveling missionary, are traveling on Herald of Hope chapel car train. Hope had been living with her Aunt Mattie in Pittsburgh until her passing. It took some work, but Hope convinced her father to let her travel with him. She will be able to assist with the children and play the organ for the services. Their new assignment will take them to Finch, West Virginia. They temporarily stop in Brookfield where Hope is accosted by four ruffians and a miner traveling through town comes to her rescue. They finally arrive in Finch and Hope meets the miner once again. Luke Hughes works for the Finch Mining and Company along with everyone else who lives on the hill in Finch. Miners are having a hard time since hours have been cut and they are finding other ways to make money. Kirby Finch got into trouble once again and his father has sent him to Finch to work. Kirby is more interested in making quick, easy money that will allow him to escape what he considers a backwater town. Kirby believes Hope will provide a nice diversion while he is in town and then he comes up with a plan. Kirby offers to drive Hope to neighboring towns where she can teach the children about God and the Bible. Luke knows that there must be another reason for Kirby’s generosity, and he is determined to find out the reason. Luke is jealous of the time Kirby is spending with Hope. He has gotten to know Hope and is falling in love. But he does not feel worthy of such a wonderful woman. What is Kirby up to and is Hope being put in danger? Is there a chance for a future between Hope and Luke? The Chapel Car Bride is nicely written and has an interesting concept. I had not heard about chapel cars previously and it was interesting to find out more about them. I was, though, disappointed with Judith Miller’s latest work. It was nicely written, but it was not up to her usual standard. The characters were not fleshed out or brought to life (flat). Hope is a naïve, upbeat, devout young woman who believes the best in everyone (I am surprised little birds did not fly around her head singing sweet tunes). Luke is the poor, handsome yet godly man who struggles with his cynicism of Kirby (yawn). The story builds up to Kirby and what he has been doing in Finch. The conclusion to this storyline is very anticlimactic. All the sudden it is over. I thought it was wrapped up to quickly and neatly. The pace of the book is slow. When you keep checking to see if you are closer to the end, you know the book is creeping along. I give The Chapel Car Bride 3 out of 5 stars (it is okay). It is a sweet romance novel, but I just thought it needed more (complexity, depth, feeling). It was too predictable for me. Some issues are never discussed in detail (the father’s illness and recovery as well as the mining accident are good examples). There is a light, Christian element throughout the book (information about Bible stories and prayer). I have read all of Judith Miller’s works, and this is the first one to disappoint me.
Date published: 2017-05-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Historical Romance I enjoyed this book from the first chapter, in which Hope loses her hat and ends up facing a pretty rowdy group of men over it. Her father begins to have second thoughts about bringing her on this mission. Historical fiction is probably one of my favorite genres, so this book was appealing to me. I loved learning about the railroad chapel car time period and the small mining communities, as well as, the struggles the miners endured. I also really enjoyed the characters in this book. Hope was sweet, stubborn, and very lovable. She displayed a humble heart and a contagious love for God and helping people. I totally admired her father's faithfulness to the ministry and spreading the gospel to the small towns along the railroad lines. Maybe that comes from being reminded of my own parents dedication as missionaries for many years. And Luke, Hope's suitor, is a dedicated Bible scholar, yet demonstrates qualities of humanity in that he gets angry, jealous, and struggles with God answering his prayers. Kirby Finch, mine owner's son, was a guy you would love to hate. Seriously, spoiled rich brat, basically sums him up! He does what he wants, is sneaky and conniving, and pretty much only out to please himself. He takes advantage of people with no regard to how it may affect them, so long as it benefits him. Yet, he is smooth with the ladies and easily worms his way into their affections. ARGH!! Guys like him get under my skin! The book is not extremely humorous, but has a lightheartedness about it, with a few mildly intense moment, such as when Kirby gets stopped by the revenuers, or when Hope has to face a group of intoxicated men alone, and a few more I will leave for you to discover. I didn't really find myself laughing outright at anything in particular. There are a few sad moments, such as, when Hope's father falls ill, and Luke is struggling with indecision about his relationship with Hope. You just want to step in and cheer them on! There are several times your blood may get to boiling a bit, but overall it is a pretty steady read. Interesting, yet not necessarily over the edge on one extreme or the other. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a historical romance. I even took a little time to look up a railroad chapel car, when I finished the book. Judith did a great job keeping the book engaging with clean romance. I am giving it 4 stars. I received a free copy of this book courtesy of Bethany House to read. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are my own.
Date published: 2017-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Trust and Obey Thursday, May 4, 2017 The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller, © 2017 I have loved Judith Miller's historical stories since reading her Postcards from Pullman series. I was unaware of Chapel Cars sent out to unreached areas, linked to trains going in that direction and set off on a spur sidetrack until another train came along going to their destination. In the meantime, they ministered where they were if even for a day or two stop, inviting local families, and railroad workers to a service designated for them. In this story, Hope Irvine joins her missionary father for the first time, playing the organ for worship, and spreading a blanket outdoors and teaching the children. As the chapel car came to a town, they handed out flyers inviting those to attend the evening meeting. Luke Hughes lives in a coal-mining town with his family in West Virginia. As their father has died, he feels the obligation to care for his mother and younger siblings. His father's brother has looked out for them as well. Upon the arrival of the chapel car, Luke is interested in attending services since their church had burned down years earlier. Historical fiction is so interesting to me, to learn about parts of history and locations we may never travel to or have heard about. Kirby Finch is sent by his father to learn responsibility manning their coal mine in Finch. Who we are follows us, as Kirby continues to follow his own lead. Sadly, externally he attends chapel car meetings but does not take inward the benefit he could receive. He manages to schedule laid-off miner Luke to work in the mines to enable him to spend time with the preacher's daughter apart from interference. I liked reading about how Hope and Luke's sister Nellie joined Kirby on his trips to other town areas, to bring the children stories and Sunday-school papers to have for their own. A direct input that will carry forth into their remembrance in adulthood. Kirby may have had other ideas, but the Lord prevailed. Trust and Obey ~ This hymn reflects Hope's daily delight in meeting with the women in their homes, as she gains their trust in a stranger coming among their families who have long lived alone without any interruptions or input into their days. ***Thank you, author Judith Miller, and Bethany House for sending a print copy. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Flavor of Life in Coal Mining Appalachia in Early 1900s Once again, Judith Miller takes the reader to historic West Virginia. This time, The Chapel Car Bride tells of a young woman,Hope Irvine, who accompanies her father to minister in "the chapel car" of a train as they travel to the coal mining town of Finch. I loved the character of Luke. He is so kind, committed to his family to a fault, eager to learn about the Lord. I also loved the character of Kirby, or rather, his characterization. While being very arrogant and lazy, and a person to twist reality, it was very easy to imagine him. Miller well-describes the economy and attitudes of the hill people. She truly captures the flavor of coal mining Appalachia in the early 20th century. I gratefully received a copy of this book from the publisher. I am voluntarily leaving a review and all opinions are my own.
Date published: 2017-05-02