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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
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.
Melissa5 Stars Out Of 5Can't wait to see where this series leadsAugust 28, 2017MelissaQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I haven't met a Jody Hedlund book I haven't liked :) This new series starts off with a bang.
First, I love the research Jody books into her books. I learn new things from her writing and if you read the authors notes at the end you can understand even more.
Elisa is a wonderful character. I loved her sarcasm and sometimes snarky attitude. I also appreciated that she was real about her relationship with Jesus. She had pulled away, but the message in the book is that He never pulled away from her. The title has a double meaning which I find beautiful.
Thorton...what's not to love. What a fantastic hero, most of the time. He has his faults of course but he is a great guy.
I found myself with tears in my eyes a couple of times, a true sign that this book was touching my heart. And most of that came for the other characters in the book and their love for Elise and Thorton.
I am really curious about the upcoming books and who will be featured in them. There was unsolved story lines in this book so I am hoping those will get resolved later in the series.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Debbie WilderSalinas, CAAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5WOW! An amazing historical romance!August 21, 2017Debbie WilderSalinas, CAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The characters are incredibly well developed and I was able to really connect with them on an emotional level. The heartache and anguish that Elise and her sisters experienced was palpable. Many times throughout this book I wanted to just gather them into my arms and take care of them.
The historical setting and details were clearly presented and I was able to visualize the scenes as they were happening. This book taught me about an aspect of the orphan train period that I had never known about. I absolutely love it when I can learn about history in the pages of a fictional story. This period has now come alive for me.
The maturing process that Thornton traveled was fantastic. From the beginning of the book to the end he truly grew up and became a man. I thoroughly enjoyed the emotional journey to trusting God that both Elise and Thornton went on.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.
Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*