The Wedding Dress (The Wedding Album Series #1)

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9781556615221: The Wedding Dress (The Wedding Album Series #1)
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Two Beloved Novels in One Special Edition! Encounter the Bittersweet Story of a Young Woman Seeking Both Hope and Love

Historical fiction at its finest, The Wedding Album captivates both the mind and the emotions as it brings to life an important time in America's developoment.

Orphaned while a young girl, Rebecca Wolstone's only tangible heritage is a trunk that contains her mother's wedding dress and a small black book. Her mother's final words, cautioning her to guard the trunk as her only hope, seem to refer to the future marriage the dress symbolizes, and Rebecca begins a search for the one man who will make her dreams come true.

When Andrew Jacobson sweeps her off her feet, Rebecca believes she has finally found the man her mother had in mind, as well as a community to call home. Their honeymoon and life in their first little log cabin are everything Rebecca has ever dreamed of. But when Andrew brings her to her new home in Fort Harmony, she is overwhelmed by the life awaiting her.

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About the Author:

Marian Wells was born in Utah. She is the well-known author of eleven books, including two novels based on thorough historical research into the beginnings of Mormonism. Marian and her husband live in Boulder, Colorado.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1 Rebecca Wolstone pushed the small trunk toward the open window of the loft and dropped to her knees in front of it. While her heavy taffy-colored braids coiled across the surface and her fingers stroked the dusty leather, she looked out the window. She had to peer through the branches of the apple tree to see down the hill. In the distance there was the shining strip that was the Mississippi River. Trees and buildings hid the curving bank. “Nau—voo.” Rebecca practiced saying the name as Cynthia would, but her voice lacked the contempt Cynthia’s carried. Her eyes were searching out the white spot on the hill.

In the dark clamor of the town the building rose silent and pure, capturing her imagination, forcing the words: “I’d fancy me a spot, more quiet and holy than any place on earth.” She blinked and tried to focus her sunstruck eyes on the little trunk. “Do you suppose, Ma and Pa, that if you’d a-lived long enough to see that place, it would have changed everything?”

Now tears swelled her eyelids and constricted her throat. She was thirteen. Today was her birthday, this April 15, 1844. Three birthdays ago there had been the three of them—her mother, father and Rebecca. Now there was only Rebecca and the little old trunk.

And the Smyths. She reminded herself as she heard the commotion in the yard below. For just a moment she wanted to hug her loneliness closer, but there was that shrill, demanding whistle. She leaned out the window. Joshua and Jamie Smyth were waving. “Becka, happy birthday!” A flower-laden branch sailed through the window.

Joshua, seventeen, was grinning up at her. “I’d throw you an apple, but since it’s only apple blossom time, have a posy instead.” His eyes were intently studying her face, and she wondered if the tears showed. Joshua was prone to discover her tears before anyone else, and they made him uncomfortable.

Another face danced into view. It was Prudence Smyth. “Looking at your ma’s wedding dress, huh? We remembered it’s your birthday, and Pa has a penny for you. That’s so you won’t be sad because your ma and pa are dead.”

“Rebecca!” The voice seemed to float up the ladder that joined the loft with the kitchen below. “Hurry and do your looking; it’s near suppertime.”

“Yes ’um,” Rebecca settled back on the floor, surprised to discover that her mood of sadness had disappeared. It was the first time in the three years since her parents had died that she was able to lift the lid of the trunk without tears ruining it all. She braced against the window frame and peered inside.

The trunk held only two items, the dress and a little black book. She rubbed her dusty fingers against her faded calico before she peeled back the cocoon of cotton that shielded the silk dress. She touched the lace and the pink velvet rosebuds centered with seed pearls; then she bent to sniff greedily of the musty fragrance.

She tried again to pull the memories of those people back into her life. Each year it was becoming harder to recall their faces, and each year it seemed more important to hold them close. Not that she wasn’t grateful for the Smyths’ taking her in, treating her like kin; it was just this need to draw the reins up tight, to pull all of her past about her.

One thing she did know. The wedding dress worn by her mother was hers. It would be her wedding dress too. Even today her mother’s final words burned through her. Her lips had been blue with the life seeping out of her when she whispered, “Rebecca, take care, guard the trunk. There’s in it your only hope.”

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