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The Chapel Car Bride

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  191 ratings  ·  92 reviews
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?
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 4th 2017 by Bethany House Publishers
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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  191 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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Jessica Wolf
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
I must admit that this book is not my favorite. While I was initially intrigued by the ideal of a chapel confined to a railroad car, the story itself held no clear plot or motive. There were about four/five different plots going on at once, which made it difficult to actually connect to the story because each chapter darted from plot to plot. As well, none of the multiple plots were deep in any sort of way. I felt like I was reading a summary of the story, as opposed to a story itself. There was ...more
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Judith McCoy Miller writes amazing novels with charming characters and incredible settings. Her research is impeccable and informative. I learn something nearly every time I read one of her books.

The Chapel Car Bride taught me that there was at one time in history train cars where preachers traveled on the railroad teaching about Christ. I'd never heard of this before, but it's not outside the realms of credulity.

This takes place soon after the turn of the century of 1900s. Prohibition was about
Kelly Bridgewater
Apr 17, 2017 rated it liked it
With Judith Miller books, some of her books have been awesome, and I devour them instantly, but I have found some of them not to be so great. With her newest book The Chapel Car Bride, I don't think this story captured my attention either. While the characters and plight of Hope Irvine, who is a daughter of a preacher, riding the rails through the American west in 1913. She is a strong woman who isn't afraid to tell the story of Jesus to everyone, especially the little children in town. I admir ...more
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller was an okay read. The story didn't really pan out for me. Here's why:

The characters felt like they needed more depth. There were certain struggles, yes, but they seemed somewhat trivial. Luke was my favorite for a while, but in the end kind of disappointed me. Hope was rather naive and she once almost lied to her father so that he wouldn't send her back home (not okay). Kirby, the antagonist, though the most dimensional, also felt somewhat shallow. From the
May 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
The Chapel Car Bride, written by Judith Miller, was a book I was very excited to read.
I loved the concept of the book about a Pastor and his daughter who traveled in a Chapel train car, staying in different train stops along the way and encouraging the small towns that didn't have a church or Pastor. While they were ministering to the people in a WV mining town where the mine was controlled by a greedy owner who didn't pay the miners enough and limited their ability to purchase anything except b
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
The cover on this book is gorgeous, which made me want to read it. It took me a bit to get into the story, as Judith Miller, though a talented author, has an older style of writing that is something I have to readjust to. You were able to overlook the missing pieces as you read through and enjoyed the sweetness of the story. 

I enjoyed the history of the chapel train car, mines and the bootlegging thrown into this story. It was a happy, sweet story, with a happy ending for most in the story. I wo
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The story begins in early spring, in the year 1913. A young woman named Hope Irvine was busy tossing flyers about an upcoming prayer meeting to the residents of a small town they were coming to, distributing them from the rear platform of the Chapel Car named Herald of Hope. This was a real railroad car, used as a chapel by Baptist preachers to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to transient railroad workers and coal miners and their families.
See here:
In Judith Miller’s
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Chapel Car Bride” is one of my new favorite novels. This book is full of history and the author did a wonderful job with this historical romance novel that I could not put down. From start to finish, I couldn't put it down! Pastor Irvine and his daughter, Hope travel along the railroads visiting towns. As they do, they minister, offering church in the chapel car. This opportunity has afforded Hope to spend time with father and minister to children where churches haven't been built yet in many s ...more
First sentence: Hope Irvine clutched a handful of leaflets and picked her way toward the rear of the swaying train.

Premise/plot: Hope travels with her father, a preacher, in a chapel car. They travel by rail and stopover at various communities in need of ministry. Her father does the preaching and leads the services; Hope does the teaching of the children. For most of this novel, the two are located in the mining community of Finch.

The community is shy of strangers--usually. But Luke Hughes take
Beth Erin
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full review on

Hope is a loving daughter and a compassionate young woman. She might be a bit naive but Hope is determined to work alongside her father in the chapel car organizing services and meeting people's needs in small communities along the rail lines. Hope is the kind of gal who has a big heart and makes friends with ease.

Luke has grown up in a small West Virginia mining town where folks work hard day in and day out but rarely get ahead. He has a heartwarming relation
Denise Hershberger
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This book had a really neat setting. I'd never heard of a chapel car attaching to trains and traveling the west. I hope they really did exist because it is a great idea. I especially thought it was neat how they did nightly services almost like a revival but not really. I also liked the children's part where they got their own lesson.

Hope was a sweet character. Quite spunky. But also fairly naive. Luke was hard working and kind but sometimes a little too jaded. But they balanced each other out n
This book tells the story of a chapel car preacher and his daughter, Hope, who travel to a mining town to minister to the people there. They make new friendships, and face hardships and danger, some involving moonshiners who might shoot first and ask questions later if you stumble upon their illegal operation.

So... this book really wasn't my thing. Most of the book wasn't all that interesting to me. Building a church, fixing up the miner's homes, the scoundrel telling huge lies and doing scoundr
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
The Chapel Car Bride is a nice story but the characters where kind of flat - not much developed. Hope is on the train that goes town to town telling the people about JESUS (she tells the children mostly her father tells everyone else), until she gets to Finch. She gets there and meets Luke and Kirby - one is a good one with good intentions and the other is a bad one with not so good intention. She shares the joy of JESUS with them and one accepts HIM and the other well you can guess. I received ...more
Shirley Chapel
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Marilyn Ridgeway
Recommended to Shirley by: Amazon
This stand alone book is Historical Christian Fiction. The era is in the early 1900s. The author is Judith Miller. It's about the Chapel Car Missions that took place during this time in history. This story introduces readers to Reverend Irvine and his daughter Hope as they travel from town to town bringing the gospel of Christ to the small communities scattered along the railroad tracks
The story comes to life as they make a short stop in a very small town where Hope encounters trouble from a few
May 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: books-2017
The Chapel Car Bride is history lens recollecting the times as a sentimental cushion. It would be one thing if Judith Miller didn't share in her biography she is a history buff, but since she does I have to pop the bubble. The absence of New River in the descriptions of West Virginia to the vague mentions of "strikes and unions" leave the reader with an unclear picture of West Virginia and the struggles of the poor. The way people interacted in the book isn't even realistic to human nature. Perh ...more
Jerrye Bell
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it

The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


Story Notes

Judith Miller’s newest story takes a look back at a time when coal mining towns in West Virginia were plentiful and missionaries were preachers and their families who did whatever it took to share Jesus with those in rural areas.

In all honesty, I probably would not give this book 3 out of 5 stars merely on its plot or story telling alone – I found it very predictabl
Hope grew up living with her Aunt after her mother passed away and while her father worked in the Chapel Car Ministry. Now that she is grown and her Aunt has passed as well, Hope decides to join her father on the rails. He's not so sure but she's convinced it's where God needs her to be. When they arrive in the mine town of Finch, WV; the assignment from the association, she is more than convinced when she meets Luke and their friendship blossoms. Kirby, the mine owners son is banished to Finch ...more
Hannah Reed
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Only God could truly bring the hope these people needed-the hope she needed. He was the hope that anchored their souls.”

The Chapel Car Bride is a work of historical fiction by Judith Miller. The story is set in 1913 and is the story of a young girl named Hope Irvine who joins her preacher father on his chapel car, the Herald of Hope, after her aunt passes away. While traveling along with her father she finds love, friendship, family, and maybe more of an adventure than what she originally barga
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 swee
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received this Book from the publisher, Bethany House, for free to read and review through the blogger review program. I was not required to give a favorable review only an honest review, nor was I compensated for my review. All thoughts and comments in this review are my own.

Although Hope Irvine lived a sheltered life in Pittsburgh, when Aunt Mattie died, she decided she was ready to travel in the chapel car to help her preacher father, spread the gospel to those in remote areas. S
Kathleen E.
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 designat
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hope Irvine has begun traveling with her father, a preacher whose pulpit is in a railroad car converted into a chapel, and whose parish consists of railroaders and the people in the small mining towns on the railroad line. They travel from Pittsburgh, where Hope has been living, to the little coal mining village of Finch, West Virginia, where they will be ministering for some time.

Shortly after arriving in Finch, Hope meets Luke Hughes. He has been working in the coal mine and doing his best to
Prairie Sky Book Reviews
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 piec ...more
Victoria W.
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
The Good:
One thing I know I can count on from Miller is at least one character who will grab my attention. The Chapel Car Bride is no exception. The character of Luke is so refreshing as Miller chooses to have him visibly wrestling with how to live out his faith in real life scenarios. Luke's imperfections are so relatable (jealousy, family concerns, love) that his character leaps off the page to the point of overshadowing the rest of the cast.

I also appreciated the details Miller put into the t
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
"The Chapel Car Bride" is a historical novel set in 1913 in West Virginia. At the beginning of the story, we get an overview of how chapel cars worked and what they looked like. The coal mine existed only to explain how the poor conditions and pay motivated some workers to do an illegal side business to feed their family. This illegal activity was the motivating focus of the story.

The main characters were nice people. Hope assumed the best about everyone and wanted to help people. Luke had the u
Rebekah Gyger
May 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
This novel was fairly lack-luster. There's not much to the plot, it's more just things that happen in the characters lives. The first two chapters of the book are spent in a town other than Finch (where they spend the rest of the book), dealing with a conflict that has nothing to do with the rest of the story. While it did lead to the moment when Hope and Luke met, it was in no way necessary for them to meet that way.

Hope and Luke are both characters with very little personal conflict. Hope is a
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Judith Miller has been one of my go-to authors for a number of years. I know I can count on her for a good historical romance with well researched facts and often subjects not covered in high school history class. “The Chapel Car Bride” did not disappoint. What an intriguing idea for a story about a railroad chapel car that was moved to mostly inaccessible towns as a means to spread the gospel! I was totally unaware of the practice.

As I can always expect, the story was very well written with an
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jul 01, 2016 12:07PM  

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Judith McCoy Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. Judy and her husband make their home in Topeka, Kansas.
“Ain't easy turning loose of heartache. Sometimes we take a step forward and then fall back to our old ways. When that happens, you jest gotta admit it and try again.” 0 likes
“God can use all of us no matter where we live, no matter if'n we're young or old, and even if we think we ain't got any special gifts. Pray and ask what you can do for Him, and He'll show you. Maybe not right away, but one day you'll find your answer. I know I did.” 0 likes
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