Thursday, May 18, 2017

With You Always (Orphan Train #1) by Jody Hedlund - 5 Stars - A Christian Romance

There have been a few books written about the orphan train of the old days, none as well done as this book. I love to read a christian based book now and again to change things up, they make me think and reflect.  This story is about the daughter of some immigrants that come to New York, the daughters find themselves on their own with no way to earn a living and they come across a woman who runs a mission and finds work for the woman who stay there.  Most of the woman are those who were trying to get away from prostitution, although the same isn't to be said of Elise and her sisters.  They also have a two boys very young that they have taken under their wing and made a part of their little family.  They are working very hard to keep them all together.
The oldest daughter finally has to leave, as the great depression happens and the work for the woman stops.  She must find work so that she'll be able to put some money away to get a place to live for her little family and to be able to send for them.  She travels by train to a small town that is being built along the Illinois Train Line, the town of Quincy.  Two brothers (twins) are in competition to build up two new towns, and the must marry for love and do it all in six months the winner will be able to take over their sons massive fortune and businesses.  Both are romancing some women who are in New York women from rather well off family's.  Thornton though finds he is having difficulty developing feelings for his lady.  He's met Elise and he can't get her out of his mind.  Elise ends up working for Thornton in Quincy and she really messes with his mind!  He really goes out of his way to help her out. The book is a great read and has a lot of real history thrown into a very complex romance/story.  I lost hours while nursing a cold reading the book.  I really did love this book.  I received an e-copy of the book through net galley and Bethany Books in exchange for an honest review.

Here is the description as found on Good Reads: Riveting Look at the Orphan Train from Historical Novelist Jody Hedlund

When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She's had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children's Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn't want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance. 

The son of one of New York City's wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother's shadow and is determined to win his father's challenge. He doesn't plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though.