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August 1, 2016

The Wedding Shop {Rachel Hauck}

the wedding shop rachel hauck
It’s the 1930s, and Cora is taking the reins at her family’s wedding shop in Heart’s Bend, Tennessee. Brides come from far away to be doted on by Cora and her family while they find the perfect wedding dress. Meanwhile, Cora has found her true love, Rufus, a riverboat captain. Cora counts the days until his return from the river, and she continues to wait for him as days turn into months and months turn into years. When he finally returns, she receives the shock of a lifetime: he is married to another. Nursing her heartbreak, she must find a way to continue pouring her heart into the hopes and dreams of the brides who visit her shop, all while wondering if she will ever find true love or if it has passed her by.

In present day, Haley has finished her time as a soldier, and suffering from PTSD, wants nothing to do with the heartbreak of this world. She sets off for Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, and in order to honor the memory of a fallen friend, she takes on the task of reopening an abandoned and long-forgotten wedding shop. Perhaps through helping others, she can forget the pain and disappointment in her own life.

Haley isn’t looking for love, but when her friend’s former fiancé becomes involved in the shop’s renovations, they both find that healing and restoration can perhaps happen in their lives too.

My Thoughts:
I love the way Rachel Hauck can take two unrelated characters, weave their stories together, and then connect their lives in the way you least expected.

Cora and Haley had me hooked from the very beginning. Cora seems to be the kind of woman I would have liked in real life. She was not worried about the world’s perception of her, she was determined to live her life on her terms, and she was a successful businesswoman. She held true to what she believed to be the love of her life, and her heartbreak broke my heart on her behalf. I wanted so badly for Cora to have her happy ending and was devastated when I did not think she was going to get it. Cora was a woman who trusted God and was willing to let Him have his way with her life. I was so happy with how her life turned out and the decisions she made for herself.

Haley came home a lost, wounded, and lonely woman. I felt like her decision to reopen the wedding shop came out of nowhere, but once her heart was revealed it was so obvious God had his hand in her decision making. I longed for Haley to make true amends with her mother and to allow her heart to be opened to those around her. I felt Haley punished herself too much for the mistakes of her past. When she finally let go and let God show her forgiveness, it was such a turning point in this story. I wanted to leap for joy when the wedding shop finally opened, and all the pieces fell into place in only a way God could orchestrate.

The connection between Cora and Haley was one I would have never guessed. And I loved it! It was so perfect, and it made a great story just perfect. I also love with characters from other books show up in stories, so I was thrilled to see a few people and locations show up in this book (but that is all I am going to say without giving away any great secrets J )

Put this book on your reading list. It is a must read for sure!

Rachel Hauck is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and award-winning author.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.
She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker.

Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets, and writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

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