This past September, I had the privilege of sitting in a day-long class with authors Rachel Hauck and Susan May Warren in which they talked about a story equation. Hauck actually mentioned her story question for her newest book, The Wedding Chapel: What if a wedding chapel had set empty for sixty years, never having hosted a wedding?
Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook spent years building his wedding chapel in the small town of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, by hand for the woman he loved. But time, war and circumstances tore his beloved Collette Greer away from him. For sixty years, the wedding chapel has sat empty, a monument to love.
Former Heart’s Bend resident, Taylor Branson now lives in New York with a new husband. After eloping with Jack Forester, another former resident of the small town, Taylor questions whether she rushed into the marriage after a whirlwind elopement. She loves Jack, but her family doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to lasting marriages.
Meanwhile, Jack’s success as an advertising executive stems from his desire to belong. His childhood left a lot to be desired and he struggles to express his love to his new wife.
These four people are brought together when Taylor takes an assignment to photograph the wedding chapel in her hometown. Through conversations, flashbacks, and letters, the truth of Collette’s and Jimmy’s relationship comes to light.
While many parts of the plot were predictable, Rachel Hauck once again draws readers into the story, making them feel welcome and a part of the community. As a resident of Nashville, I have visited many a small town exactly like Heart’s Bend. The Wedding Chapel is a story of forgiveness and hope. A story that expresses that some dreams are worth waiting a lifetime for.
***Zondervan Fiction and Booklook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.