For some of the books I've read recently, it seems that the "in" device to use in writing is flashing back to other characters and telling parallel stories. Rachel Hauck has done this with her book, The Wedding Shop. This device is particularly necessary for the book. The Wedding Shop wouldn't have as much charm otherwise. Cora inherits the Wedding Shop from her aunt Jane. It was the business that got her through the Depression. Cora wants to marry Rufus St Claire, a river boat captain. For some reason she trusts him and loves him.
Zip through the years, Haley and Tammy are ten years old and playing in the now-defunct and vacant Wedding Shop. Tammy is the bride and Haley is the bridesmaid. The staircase from the mezzanine to the main floor is still just as glorious even if the rest of the shop is not. They pinkie promise to reopen and run the Wedding Shop. And Tammy wants to marry Cole Danner.
Even more years pass and Haley is out of the Air Force, living with her parents, Tammy has passed away from cancer, and Haley is trying to decide what to do with her life. For some reason she ends up back at the Wedding Shop only to hear that the city is planning to sell it to make a parking lot for a condo unit. Haley remembers the pinkie promise and starts researching what it will take to reopen the store. She has several hoops she must jump through to get the building and the permits. The City Manager holds her permits hostage because he wants a guitar that her friend Cole has.
Throughout the book, Rachel bounces back and forth between Cora and Haley, telling their parallel stories, and bringing love to both women in God's time. Rachel brings a bit of her previous books in this series into the book, but not so much that you have to go back to read them to understand the story. What Rachel does well is she describes both women's growth in their faith and adds just enough information that could help the reader grow in her own faith.
This is a five star book, two thumbs up, and a personal appointment in the wedding shop.
My thanks to Zondervan Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book.