Note: I received this book from Bethany House Publishers to review it. 🙂
This book offers a unique perspective on something that I had never considered before: a woman’s role on a chapel car. (I actually had never heard of a “chapel car”, either, so this book was a particularly pleasant surprise!)
The religious aspect of this book might be a negative for some readers, but I did not find that to be the case while reading it. There is a lot of religious relevance to the story, historically and plot-wise, so it’s a necessity in the book–and, as Judith Miller continues with her obvious success–it is clear that I am not the only one who does not necessarily find the “religious” in a religious romance book to be an obstacle. You do not have to be religious to enjoy this story!
As far as plot and characters go, the tale is very enjoyable. It’s more than just an instant he-meets-her-and-the-wedding-is-booked story; the two protagonists face a variety of obstacles, both minor and more serious. The heroine is reliable, hard-working, and (in my opinion) relatively realistic. Her struggle to be obedient and pious despite her own human urges, opinions, and ideas really spoke to me. Hope Irvine is trying to be a dutiful daughter to her father (the preacher on the chapel car), but she does struggle with that goal sometimes–and that made me love her. Her relationship with her father was also special and well-written, as was her relationship with Luke Hughes. Overall I was immensely intrigued by this book’s heroine, pleased with the story’s overall tone and pacing, and very happy with Judith Miller’s most recent work!