Heart’s Bend, Tennessee is the setting for The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck. Let the town’s name give you a clue as to the message contained within this story – the love story of Jimmy and Colette. Their tale begins in 1948 when Colette and her sister Peg arrive in town to live with their aunt and uncle. The girls are war orphans who lost both parents as a result of World War II. When Jimmy sees a picture of the two girls before they arrive in town, he loses his heart to the younger of the girls, Colette. But due to his shyness around girls and her overbearing sister, the two have a hard time getting to know each other and end up merely looking at one another from afar. Jimmy overcomes his shyness enough to make the first move and the two fall in love. Fast forward to the current day and we find Jimmy and Colette in their early eighties, living lives much different from what they first imagined. Jimmy is now the retired coach of the local high school football team. Colette is living a life of luxury in a Manhattan penthouse overlooking Central Park; she is adored by her fans after having played Vivica Spenser on a soap opera for 60+ years. What has split these two young lovers apart? What secrets does each hold close to their heart? And how does a never used wedding chapel back in Heart’s Bend figure into their love story?
A second love story set in the present is also interwoven throughout, that of Taylor and Jack. They too are natives of Heart’s Bend who left the country to find fame and fortune and is so doing find each other. But each has a boatload of baggage that they’ve brought with them. In spite of that they both want desperately to make their marriage work but fear the unknown. Will the wedding chapel back in Heart’s Bend bring these two closer or finalize their split?
A tale of love and lost love, secrets and lies, and healing of wounds is the central theme of this wonderful story. Interwoven with an unshakable faith in God, you’ll find yourself rooting for the characters in this charming tale.
Rating: M M M M