Author: Marian Wells
Published: February 1st 2002 by Bethany House Publishers
A two book in one, The Wedding Album comprises The Wedding Dress and its sequel, With This Ring. Set in the 19th century, the story centers around Rebecca Wolstone, who was orphaned after her parents died from cholera. It begins with her as a young girl of thirteen and continues on as she was filled with pity and compassion for the Saints who were being shunned and forced out of their homes. After joining their journey to Utah territory, she started to fit in and learn of their principles and their religion. As time goes on, she begins to have her doubts and her strong will prevented her from fully giving in and living the principle of the Saints.
Rebecca eventually fell in love with the man who rescued her when she was thirteen. She had put off getting married because of him and she was convinced that Andrew Jacobson was not married, until after their wedding when it was revealed that Rebecca was actually the second wife. Horrified and betrayed, she had to learn to accept plural marriages or suffer from being branded an apostate. But deep inside her, she knew that something was amiss; what the Saints were teaching her and what she was learning from the Bible differed and she was torn between the two.
In the second book, With This Ring, Rebecca has finally chosen her path to follow and she has already escaped Utah territory. Along with Solali, Eagle and Joshua Smyth, the eldest son of the Smyth’s family who took her in after her parents death, they headed to Oregon territory, where Joshua was living. Burden by darkness and fear, Rebecca was determined to start life anew. But what happens when she feels herself distanced from God and tormented by her hate of her past?
The Wedding Album was a compelling read. This is the second time I’m reading it and I’m not regretting a single moment of it. It tells of the many wrong choices humans can make in their lifetime and how much strength is needed to break away from those wrong choices. It also tells of God’s unending patience to draw us to him. When Rebecca was struggling with her faith and blaming God for the death of her baby, what really hit me deep down is God’s love for her and His understanding of her sorrows. Not once did He let her go. He has always been there, waiting for her to return to Him, wanting to give her the freedom from her past and her hate.
Although the entire story could be shorten and resolved in just one book, I think the reason the story is written at such lengths is because the author wants us to really grasp the confusion that can play at one’s mind and the torment it causes them. She wanted us to see and feel the emotional strain that Rebecca has been going through from the day she was tricked into marrying Andrew until the day she begged God to help her.
I’ve always enjoyed reading this book and I always will. The Wedding Album stuck in my mind through all these years and the second time I read it made me feel all those same emotions and thoughts that ran through me when I read it the first time.