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In the financial crisis of the 1850’s, Elise Neumann is the older of her two orphaned sisters and finds she must provide for her sisters. She leaves New York and takes a job as a seamstress in Illinois. The father of Thornton Quincy and his brother, challenges them to build a sustainable railroad and get married. The first son to win the challenge inherits their fathers’ wealth. If only the feisty Elise would stay out of his way.
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Orphan Train
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.
"The first book in the Orphan Train series features a sweet yet intense romance that builds between a young woman devoted to truth and honor and a rich man just learning the reality that exists outside of his comfortable life. This title is engaging and heartening." - RT Book Reviews
"Christy Award-winner Hedlund crafts an enjoyable first installment of the Orphan Train Series. . . . Hedlund's Cinderella story, shedding light on the hardships women faced in both the East Coast cities and the developing West in the 1850s, is a pleasant romance with plenty of twists to keep readers engaged until the final page." - Publishers Weekly
"Hedlund has effectively captured the hopelessness, volatility, and uncertainty of the times in the first book in her Orphan Train series, a heart-stirring story of survival and love filled with memorable characters." - Booklist starred review
"This book is a powerful and historically grounded story about finding your own strength and worth through faith. It is a wonderful read for fans of Elizabeth Camden." - Christian Market
NicolePalmdale, CAAge: 35-44Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5A Phenomenal Story!!!!March 8, 2018NicolePalmdale, CAAge: 35-44Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5With You Always (2017) by Jody Hedlund is the first novel in her Orphan Train series. This novel comes in all forms including eBook, and is 359 pages in length. With a full-time job and a precocious five-year old at home, With You Always took me three days to read. I purchased an eBook copy of this novel on June 23, 2017 from Amazon to review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give this novel 5+++ STARS. With You Always is a Christian Historical Romance.
With You Always is the 9th novel I have read by Jody Hedlund. It will definitely not be the last! Jody Hedlund is a phenomenal writer and storyteller. I was captivated by Elise and Thornton's story from chapter one, and struggled hard to put this book down. With You Always is incredibly fast-paced and thoroughly engaging. It has everything a reader looks for in great historical fiction: characters dealing with really difficult choices, witty banter, gritty historical accuracy, amazing romance that made my heart SO happy, a few villains who made my blood boil, some really excellent secondary characters, and a great message.
I love when I pick up a historical novel and actually walk away from it having learned something. Before this novel, I had never heard of The Children's Aid Society, Charles Loring Brace, or the Orphan Trains. What a shocking, awful time in our history! From 1854-1929, children were removed from tenements and the streets of New York, and other slum areas, and shipped off to homes out "West" in an attempt to give them a better life. Some of these children were orphans who had no adults in their lives. Some of these children were given up by their parents who could no longer afford to feed and care for them, most of the time through no fault of their own. There are a few moments in With You Always where characters discuss the potential of having to give up their children, or do give up children, to The Children's Aid Society. These moments really made my heart hurt. The pain the characters feel as they attempt to make the decision to leave their families behind to find work, or to give up children, is so real and palpable. There were several moments I had to work to keep the tears at bay. And, I made my daughter give me lots of extra cuddles. I can't imagine having to make the decision to leave my family, or to give my daughter away. I am so grateful to God for my family's protection from these truly awful and painful decisions.
Elise is 18, orphaned, and trying to keep her siblings safe and alive. She does make the decision to leave her siblings in the care of someone she trusts so she can move to where employment is. Hedlund does an excellent job of portraying Elise's sense of guilt and failure at having to leave her siblings in order to find work elsewhere. Elise is an extremely hard worker, so she puts herself into the tasks given to her at her new job, but the niggling sense of guilt that she couldn't be superwoman and work and care for her family all at the same time overwhelms her. Elise's feelings are so true to life. I'm in a completely different situation and time period, but I often feel like a failure as a woman because I can't do it all. Whether you are woman from 1410, 1854, or today, the world tells us we should be able to do it all. When we can't -- because it's physically impossible! -- we take it really hard. I appreciate Elise so much because I totally relate to how she feels in this book.
Thornton is wealthy beyond anything Elise, or I, can imagine. He is handsome, kind to a point, and totally "upper-class" brained. At first, I didn't like Thornton too much. He is "silver-spoon" arrogant, and he treats humans below him in social stature as cheap labor. But, all this changes when he meets Elise. The BEST part of Thornton's character is that he is willing to change. Watching his transformation over the course of the story is one of the best parts of this book. Elise holds no punches. She is witty and is not afraid to speak truth to Thornton even at the expense of her job. As he gets to know Elise better, she opens his eyes to the men and women who are in his employ. Instead of a cheap labor force, he begins to see just how hard they work for him and he realizes that he needs to become not just a better boss, but a better man. Of all the fictional relationships that I have read in my time, Elise and Thornton may be my most favorite fictional couple. They are sweet towards each other, which made my romance-lovin' heart happy, but what I really love about them is that they make each other better humans. Isn't that really the goal every couple should strive for?
There is SO much more to discuss with this book -- I barely scraped the surface in this review! There is Thornton's desperate need to please his father, and his eventual realization that the only father he needs to worry about is his Heavenly Father. There is Elise's trust issues, and her ultimate awareness that running to God is the best option because running from God just makes life, which is already hard, that much harder. And, I didn't even get to talk about the secondary characters. They are so multifaceted and wonderful. With You Always is jammed-packed with excellent things to discuss!!!
With You Always is an AMAZING story. I am so sad that my time with Elise and Thornton is over. I am really going to miss them! If you are looking for an excellently researched, beautifully written historical fiction to devour, then I HIGHLY recommend With You Always. You will not be sad you picked this book to read.
wfnrenSt Cloud, FLAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Love the story and writing, looking forward to the next book in the seriesDecember 7, 2017wfnrenSt Cloud, FLAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Oh Jody, you never fail me when I choose to read one of your books!!! I loved this story as it showed what strength and faith, even when they thought they'd lost it, women had/have in such hard times. The farther along I got in Elise's story the more I hated having to put the book down. I am so anxious to read the next two books, yes, two, I see there is one coming out in May of 2018 and I'm 'sure' there will be at least one more, that is the one I'm really waiting for.
I highly recommend this book, this series, to historical fiction lovers. I will suggest that you read the prequel, "An Awakened Heart" first, then this one as we wait for the next one, "Together Forever" in the series.
Me3 Stars Out Of 5Except for language - great bookSeptember 20, 2017MeQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3Introduction: First in the Orphan Train Series. Great story line, easy to follow characters. I love historical fiction that has a romance but goes deeper into some facet of the times and places. With You Always dealt with immigrant issues, rich/poor, women's issues in employment and some other related issues that effected women and children in New York City in 1857. The Orphan Train was part of an attempt to solve some of those issues.
When a wealthy businessman's son meets a poor orphaned German immigrant living in a mission who is responsible for her 2 younger sisters and 2 young toddlers of a friend, it doesn't seem to be a situation that would lead to a serious romance. But the author does a great job of eroding the divide between those with plenty and those struggling for survival. There is also a competition between twin brothers that plays into the story in a major way. Dad is dying and doesn't want to weaken his company by dividing it and to determine which son will take over the company, they must each build a substantial town along the train line and marry a woman they love within 6 months.
Comments: I would have rated this 5 stars, this book had just won a place in my library to be read again at some point until I got to page 281 where I encountered some offending language - 2 uses of a name used to hurt and degrade women assumed to be involved in promiscuous behavior. The feelings and anger of the woman using it could have been communicated without using that word, even with symbols, if necessary, that would get the point across. If blacking it out would solve the problem, I'd leave it at that, and proceed to tell you how great a job the author did at laying a foundation for the next book in the series and how I was anxiously awaiting it - looking forward to finding out what happened to Marianne, Sophie, Olivia and Nicholas But, this is the first of a series. Since apparently, Bethany House does not consider that profanity and I don't use that language and don't knowingly read books or watch movies that contain that type of vocabulary, I won't be reading the sequel. I'm also not willing to sell them in my Christian Bookstore because this language is hurtful and degrading and I don't want to encourage others to use it by putting it in their minds and giving tacit approval because I sell them. The more you hear or read words like this the more likely you are to use them. So if that language doesn't bother you, and you read With You Always and the sequels, send me a note and let me know what happened to them all.
Note for the author: I loved this book, except for page 281. This is supposed to be a Christian book - use your writing skills to find a creative way to communicate Tante Brunhilda's feelings of betrayal and anger at Marianne that doesn't encourage the use of abusive words among the Christians who read your book. There is enough of that language everywhere we go, we don't need it in a "Christian" book.
My review standards:
Language: Page 231 includes 2 uses of a word that is used to hurt and degrade a woman assumed to be involved in promiscuous behavior
Characters: the author does a great job of describing realistic characters who share in difficult times, being like a family and creating circumstances that bring together people that you would never expect to become friends. Shared difficulties help us to see things differently.
Faith issues: Elise deals with difficulties with her faith throughout life's trials, other issues include: immigration, women responsible for a family, poverty/wealth, homelessness, prostitution, compassion, forgiveness, hope
Who should read this? Those who have been caught in, know someone or care about those who have been caught in some of the difficult circumstances of life and need hope and encouragement. Those who want to learn more about some of the struggles of life that faced immigrants in 1857 in New York City. Those who hope for eroding the divide between classes - rich vs poor. Those who love a good romance and are not offended by language
Don't read it: If you are offended by degrading and hurtful words used by a woman to another woman.
Disclaimer: I have received a copy of this book for free for the purpose of reviewing it so that you can have additional information to help in your purchasing decisions.
Jen PenMidwest5 Stars Out Of 5A strong introduction to a new series by a favorite author...September 15, 2017Jen PenMidwestQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5SUMMARY:
Having lived on the streets previously with her younger siblings, immigrant Elise Neumann must find a way to support them. Boarding a train from New York to Illinois in the hopes of finding a job, Elise makes an acquaintance with Thornton Quincy, a member of New York's elite society trying to build a new town along the Illinois Central Railroad and in the process of hiring skilled workers. When an attraction sparks but threatens progress, Elise and Thornton must make choices which may affect more than just their own futures...
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Reading anything author Jody Hedlund writes, of course I knew I would read her newest novel, With You Always. In her true style, she writes a heartfelt, moving, compassionate story which ends way too soon but thankfully, is only Book 1 in the new Orphan Train series. Appreciating the research into the time periods as well as the Author's Note at the end of the story where she explains the history, I applaud her for telling the story from the different perspective of women during the time. A strong introduction to a new and interesting series!
5 (out of 5) pennies
rkfall5 Stars Out Of 5The Orphan TrainSeptember 9, 2017rkfallQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The orphan train is moving west and the main character is on it. WOW... this author paints such a picture of New York City, the devastation of the financial economic panic of the times in the 1850s, and the perseverance that women needed to have to success in the world with the ups and downs and creeps and men of integrity. The struggle for the jobs that are honorable and families dividing to feed everyone is very real. Being sent off across the country to a job unseen in hopes of sending money back for loved ones and one day having them come and join them. The romance in this one was superb, believable, and irresistible. Loved it! If you haven't read from this author before, you are missing out, I know I sure was.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.