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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.
NanceeGrand Rapids, MichiganAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Well done!June 25, 2017NanceeGrand Rapids, MichiganAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I highly recommend reading the novella, An Awakened Heart" before embarking on the journey of "With You Always." You'll have a much greater understanding of the characters and events that ensue.
Continuing with the individual lives introduced from the prequel to Book #1, with the introduction of some new and interesting characters, this series reveals numerous hardships and setbacks. Jobs and adequate housing are nonexistent, and each day brings more danger and challenge. Survival is only a dream as life continues to spiral downward.
With the development of the railroad and the help of the Children's Aid Society orphans were sent west to find homes in new communities, and women found opportunities for employment along the way in the new towns developing along the railroad lines.
As in previous books by Jody Hedlund, I discovered detailed imagery and depth of character. It is obvious that the author has done a great deal of research regarding inner city New York during the 1850s, and the development of the railroad system and the new towns that formed along its path west.
"With You Always" reveals relationships that turn from hostile to friendly, responsibilities that open new doors to a new life, and of course a bit of romance to keep things interesting. I highly recommend both the prequel and book #1 in this new series!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher with no expectations for a positive review. All expressed opinions are my own.
BethAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Lovely Series Beginning!June 22, 2017BethAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4Ive said this before in my reviews of several Hedlund novels, and it continues to be true here; she takes women from history and brings them to life in fresh ways, bringing the reader a romantic story, while also being true to the historical context and providing details that fascinate. In Elise Neumanns story, its the orphan train, and though it presents a different facet of the orphan train that I was initially thinking, I loved this look into what it would be like for a woman who chooses to travel to a start-up town out west for work. For Elise, more than just her own well-being and future is at stake her younger sisters and their adopted charges are first and foremost in her mind.
Though our characters Elise and Thornton are from different stations of society, they feel a connection with one another instantly, but fear not, it's not insta-love, but rather a mutual enjoyment of each other's company. They never expect to see each other again but hardship brings them together by way of the New York Children's Aid Society and Elise's desire to help her family. What I liked most is how they challenge each other and bring out different sides of their personalities. Their interactions in the beginning are especially bittersweet, as Thornton fights with himself over his desire to spend more time with her, knowing in the back of his mind that he has a challenge to win a challenge that has no place for Elise Neumann. While at first it seemed like he was just ignoring the truth of his feelings, he is finally honest with himself - he knows that what he wants and the challenge set before him by his father are two different things. Instead of focusing on the challenge at hand, he finds himself challenged by Elise to really put himself in his workers shoes, to really think about living life the way they have to do.
I know there were women like Elise who beseeched others to consider the plight of the poor and disregarded. I deeply appreciate the way that Hedlund sheds light on the plight of the poor in New York during this time period leading up to the orphan trains. While it is hard to fathom from todays perspective either giving up your child, or leaving your family to work, for many back then, it was the only option. It really prompted me to remember not to cast judgement on the decisions of others and to remember to look at things from their perspective.
With You Always is another winning romantic historical by Jody Hedlund! Fans of her previous books will not be disappointed. While it doesnt replace my favorite of her novels, I truly loved the look at the plight of orphans and women especially. It is great start to a new series, and a new Hedlund series is such a treat to look forward to. Im eager to read Marianne and Sophies stories that are hopefully to come! Oh, and do read the ebook prequel novella if you get the chance - it's short, well-done story that sets up a nice backdrop to Elise's story. Also, can I just say that Bethany House hit it out of the park with this cover and the overall design of the book. Its seriously lovely, and when the story inside is as lovely as the outside, it makes for a wonderful reading experience.
Stephie4 Stars Out Of 5Great historical fiction book!June 22, 2017StephieQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is the first book I have read of Jody Hedlund. I have really enjoyed this book as I am a big fan of Christian Historical fiction.
This book really stayed with me. I enjoyed reading about the subject of orphan trains. I also love how the author intertwined the history into the book but made it fun and interesting too.
My favorite character in the book was Elise. She is such a sweet, nice and realistic character. I enjoy reading books that have authentic and relatable characters.
I highly recommend reading this book. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
*I received this book from the publisher as part of an influencer team. No positive review was required. My opinion is honest and is my own.
A Simply Enchanted LifeNorth CarolinaAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5This author really engages the senses! Excellent writingJune 21, 2017A Simply Enchanted LifeNorth CarolinaAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 0Meets Expectations: 5With You Always is the first full-length novel in the Orphan Train series by Jody Hedlund. I love this author's writing. Don't mistake this as me saying I'd review this book with rose-tinted glasses. I wouldn't. Honesty is always super important to me. Favorite author or not. Jody just has a way of setting a scene for me. She captures all five senses, touch, sound, taste, sight and hearing in a way that few authors can. I feel as if I get a good idea of all that the characters are experiencing.
I think that some parts of this book were slightly predictable but it didn't ruin the story for me. I think anyone reading would have been able to pick up on the subtle Cinderella vibe. It works for this story though. Maybe I'm just a romantic at heart. Can't fault me for that, ehh?
I think I mentioned in my review of "An Awakened Heart" that this book gives me a "Call the Midwife" vibe. Certainly, this book continues to delve into social injustices and the plight of women. I wouldn't say that it has an overt feminist tone by any means. It does, however, give an accurate glimpse into social issues, that while much improved, need to be resolved even still.
When I picked this book up, I almost expected the focus to be on Christine and Guy from "An Awakened Heart." This book, however, focuses on Elise and her struggles to provide for her siblings after the mission was forced to close its doors. My heart went out to this young woman but I appreciated her strong personality and determination. I loved how she pushed Thornton to be a better man and to learn from experience the conditions that his workers endured.
Again, I must warn that this book is a bit predictable and maybe even a little sappy. But, as usual, the author didn't shy away from the dirt and grime of life. Instead, it was woven in seamlessly. Jody Hedlund truly has a gift for capturing the trials and triumphs of the indomitable human spirit.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Netgalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
joyful334209FLAge: 45-54Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5GOD is with you alwaysJune 21, 2017joyful334209FLAge: 45-54Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5With You Always is about Elise a faith based woman who because of the death of her parents has taken it upon herself to look after her siblings and keep them all together. She found a shelter that provided a ;lace to stay and a job. She meets up with Thornton, who is in a kind of contest, set up by his father (nice father right?), against his twin brother. He is to build a town and get married in 6 months. Elise meets up with Thornton and Thornton starts to see things in a different light. GOD is so good isn't HE? Amen - Will Thornton succeed in his task? Will Elise keep her family together? Will Elise and Thornton see each other through the eyes of love? This book is unreal.........it is one incredible book, please do not miss out......I received a complimentary copy of this book; all the opinions in this review are all my own.