About the Book
Title: Together Forever, Orphan Train Book 2
Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Inspirational historical romance
Release Date: May, 2018
Determined to find her lost younger sister, Marianne Neumann takes a job as a placing agent with the Children’s Aid Society in 1858 New York. She not only hopes to offer children a better life, but prays she’ll be able to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train so they can finally be reunited.
Andrew Brady, her fellow agent on her first placing-out trip, is a former schoolteacher who has an easy way with the children, firm but tender and friendly. Underneath his charm and handsome looks, though, seems to linger a grief that won’t go away–and a secret from his past that he keeps hidden.
As the two team up, placing orphans in the small railroad towns of Illinois, they find themselves growing ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy threatens to upend all their work and change one of their lives forever.
My Thoughts: I have to admit, I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would. I have read several of Ms. Hedlund's books and I've enjoyed everyone but this one is special. I love how she broached the sensitive subject of orphans and how they fared in the times. I loved how in the book Marianne couldn't help but love the children, when others would usually turn their noses up in disgust. Despite her best efforts she couldn't remain detached. It made her job harder but her love for the children is what made her so good at her job.
Despite the heavy subject this book has humor. It seems to be Andrew Brady's job to help Marianne lighten up and not take anything too seriously. I love how he too bonded with the kids. He was kind of like a big brother figure for them I think. He was also the only one to reach out and try to help the older rougher orphans. You have to admire him for that, he knew it would be hard to find the older ones home, especially those who were more rough around the edges, but he couldn't help but take a chance on them.
I truly enjoyed this book and I believe you will too. If you do read Together Forever, don't forget to come back here and let me know what you think.
*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.
About the Author
Jody Hedlund is the author of over a dozen novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher’s Bride, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at www.jodyhedlund.com.
Guest Post from Jody Hedlund
30,000 Abandoned Children
By Jody Hedlund
Imagine a city where 30,000 abandoned and homeless children live on the streets.
Sounds like something from a futuristic dystopian novel, doesn’t it? Or something that might happen after a war or apocalypse or major disaster, right?
This exact thing actually happened in the 1850’s. And the city was New York City.
It’s hard to believe, but an estimated 30,000 homeless children roamed the dirty city streets and alleys of New York City.
30,000. Children. Let that sink in for a minute. That’s the size of a town.
Historians look back on that time and try to make sense what led to such horrific conditions for children. Of course, the influx of immigrants was at an all time high. Jobs and housing were scarce. Diseases were rampant. Hunger and poverty became a norm. (Orphan Train Depot)
As more and more people became aware of the enormous problem within the crowded slums, courageous heroes rose up and attempted to do their part to make a difference.
While we may not always agree with the methods that were used to save the thousands of homeless children, we can admire the men and women who could no longer sit idly by.
The Children’s Aid Society was started by Charles Loring Brace as one such attempt to help the hordes of homeless children. His “Emigration Plan” is better known today by the term “Orphan Trains.”
My latest series tackles various elements of the orphan train movement. Together Forever, releasing in May, highlights the placing agents, those devoted people who rode the trains with the orphans. The agents spent weeks and months on the road caring for the children, all the while trying to place them in loving homes.
(If you’d like to try out the series, start with my FREE novella, An Awakened Heart.)
Like the brave men and women who came before us, may we always strive to do our part to make a difference!
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To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/cee5/together-forever-celebration-tour-giveaway