I loved this book as much as I did the first one in this series, a part of American history, and we get to see it first hand.This is the second Neumann sister s story, Marianne, and we get to walk in her shoes as she travels with the orphans to find them new homes in Illinois You watch her do what she isn t supposed to do, become attached to these precious children, and become attracted to her fellow agent Andrew, another no no.I really found myself page turning, and not wanting to put the book down, I had to know how things turned out With some chuckles, some heart break, and life struggles, this story has it all.Now I can t wait for the next book for the lost sister Sophie, and maybe the lost orphans, and I still don t like Rheinhold s aunt and what she did I received this book through Celebrate Lit Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review. The author packed a lot of heart into the pages of this novel It was impossible for me not to feel compassion for some of the sweet orphans who captured Marianne s love on their journey west I also really enjoyed the developing relationship between Drew and Marianne Plenty of sparks there Drew and Marianne faced many things on this journey which put their fledgling relationship to the test Could they let go of the guilt that they each carried around Could they overcome the hurdles that arose Would they come out stronger together Would the truth prevail Together Forever was a sweet and emotionally rich story An enjoyable addition to the Orphan Train series, this story could be read as a stand alone novel, if desired I believe the reading experience will be enhanced if book one is read first, as well as the free prequel novella I am looking forward to the next book in the series, in which we find out Sophie s story.I received a complimentary copy of this book All opinions are my own.You can read this review on my blog Will The Mistakes Of Their Past Cost Them A Chance At Love Determined To Find Her Lost Younger Sister, Marianne Neumann Takes A Job As A Placing Agent With The Children S Aid Society In 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 ReunitedAndrew Brady, Her Fellow Agent On Her First Placing Out Trip, Is A Former Schoolteacher Who Has An Easy Way With 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 Anytime I pick up a book by Jody Hedlund I know three things for certain I will learn something new about history My heart will be deeply touched I will swoon.Together Forever met all of the above expectations and exceeded them I love that the author does a lot of her research from actual first person historical accounts letters, diaries, reports, etc it adds an even personal touch to the characters and allows them to vividly come to life on the pages Marianne Neumann is just such a character to benefit from the author s research I ve been drawn to her since With You Always and continued to see why as I read her story in Hedlund s latest book She is relatably flawed yet her heart is soft and she strives to rise above her past mistakes At first, her tenderness seems like it might be a detriment as she actively works to place orphans in homes along the train route These children have captured her heart how can she possibly let them go to an unknown future Yet, Hedlund ultimately uses Marianne s loving spirit as an asset, and it s this journey that makes the story so poignant.Hand in hand with that journey are the orphans some precocious, some timid, some brash and arrogant all afraid in varying degrees of rejection, harm, and abandonment Prepare for your own heart to be tugged to several children in particular, and know that you will not walk away unchanged after meeting them.And of course, there s romance The chemistry between Marianne and Drew is electric and their kisses are sizzling enough to melt the coldest ice Read this from the safety of your fainting couch or properly cushioned floor and keep a half dozen fans and a sturdy freezer close by as well The intensity of their attraction adds to the tension that crackles through the last half of the book, and some degree of uncertainty to their fate will keep you frantically turning the pages.Bottom Line Together Forever is another incredibly moving and swoonilicious story from Jody Hedlund With endearing characters that take up residence in your heart and a range of emotions to be experienced as you read, this is a book you won t want to put down once you ve begun A sweet message of courage, love, and God s steady presence adds to the touching story, giving it meaning as well as entertaining A must read for historical fiction fans I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book first seen at Reading Is My SuperPower Reviewed at The Power of Words Forever ranks among my favorite of Jody Hedlund s books As with all that she writes, you will find rich historical detail, romance that is palpable, and even a little suspense Just an enjoyable read in every way I ve not had a chance to read the previous book, With You Always, but understand that Marianne was a secondary character in it and that she made some poor choices Here, however, she is a dedicated, likeable young lady who works hard to prove her worth as an employee of Children s Aid Society Spending time together on the train as placing agents, Marianne and Drew are gradually drawn to each other There are great scenes where they interacted with the children, playing, singing, and storytelling Their chemistry can literally be felt and the romance adds a welcome lightness to the otherwise serious story With great skill, Hedlund gives heart and soul to this era and its efforts to care for children in need, without shying away from the darker side and problems within the organization The situation was heartbreaking Many people who, because of poverty, found themselves in conditions where families were torn apart and thousands of children were abandoned to the streets of New York The orphan train transports many of these children to an unknown future in the mid west Will any family want them What type of family might take them in And what expectations would they find I liked how the story conveys two perspectives, both the children and the chaperones I instantly connected with Marianne as she struggled to release the children she had come to care deeply for.The next book in this series holds much promise A secondary character who played a key part is Reinhold, a good man whose hard work and determination to save for a land purchase only meet with frustration Part of Marianne s drive came from a desire to locate her youngest sister, Sophie That thread does not conclude here, but leads into Sophie and Reinhold s story in Searching for You, which releases December 4, 2018 To say I m a little eager for this one would be an understatement Highly recommended.I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Another great read by Mrs Hedlund The book was about the historical orphan train It was very well researched I enjoyed learning from the lovable fictional characters who worked for the Children s Aid Society I learned about some of the hardships they endured to find homes for these unfortunate children This was a sweet romance and I look forward to in the series I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and was not required to leave a review This is my honest opinion. What a sweet story I knew, after reading book one With You Always, that I wanted time with the orphans, and how happy was I to get it Marianne and Drew have quite the journey to their happy ever after and I thoroughly enjoyed all the ups and downs that came Starting with Marianne, it was lovely to see how she had grown since the first book She made some bad choices then, but is now willing to prove that she s changed And it s clear to see she has I was wondering if she d redeem herself for me, so I was happy to begin chapter one thoroughly invested in her journey Watching as she fell in love with all the orphans and learned to let them go when the time came was sweet It was easy to see why Drew was so drawn to her And oh my, the chemistry between the two of them Very palpably felt every time they were close, not to mention the way they d stare at each other They are so irresistibly attracted and I loved the way neither of them could ever deny it It was perfectly obvious to everyone around them Especially little Jethro who I loved dearly from the moment he entered the scene Such an adorable little matchmaker was he DYet it s not just the swoony romance which swept me off my feet, it s also the harsh realities that Ms Hedlund includes Not that I necessarily liked them, but it kept the story from feeling too sweet and romantic Life on an orphan train back then could not have been easy at all and I appreciated all the little ways Ms Hedlund kept my mind grounded, even while making me swoon By the final pages, I was happy with where things are left, yet definitely looking forward to book three It will be interesting to find out where Sophie is and what s been going on with her, since that s one of the biggest overarching mysteries And if it can contain little glimpses of Marianne and Drew, like this one had glimpses of Elise and Thornton, I will be a very happy reader I received a complimentary copy via Bethany House All opinions expressed are my own. I believe that Jody Hedlund can write well However, I m not sure she ll write a story that really compels me The historical aspect of this story was heartbreaking, but the MCs were too immature for me to enjoy this story There was a lot of taking responsibility for things over which they had no control There was also a lot of deception that was dragged out until nearly the end And I felt really sorry for one of the characters view spoiler This book has effectively killed any chance of me reading the last book of this series which features Sophie and Reinhold Honestly, the guy has proposed to the two older sisters already and he s the guy for Sophie I m not sure if I like that hide spoiler I loved that this second book in the series was directly involved with the placing out of orphans and their experiences along the journey I ve been fascinated by this part of history since reading the Orphan Train Adventures books by Joan Lowrey Nixon as a youth, and now that I ve adopted two children of my own it s especially close to my heart Marianne seems to have grown a bit since the previous book, where desperate circumstances drove her to make questionable choices, the ends justifying the means She faces challenges while accompanying the children on the train that she handles with grace and strength, and following Andrew s example, allows her caring influence to be a blessing in the lives of the orphans I appreciated that the author portrayed both the advantages and challenges of the orphan train movement and the perspective of the placing agents and what they felt and experienced.Marianne and Andrew s romance was impetuous since the rules forbid placing agents from fraternization, but they naturally grew close through the obstacles and unexpected tragedies they faced Even though there were hardships, Marianne and Andrew s bright personalities brought light and laughter to the story, bringing balance and relief from the anxiety of the circumstances I enjoyed that they played with the children on breaks and sang songs and told stories to them, even when Marianne was out of her comfort zone One of my favorite parts that made me laugh out loud was young Jethro s innocent question when he witnessed a kiss between Marianne and Andrew so funny I d hate to spoil it so you ll just have to read the book and keep an eye out for it Reinhold, Marianne s family friend from New York, is also a part of the story and his perspective provides a lead in to the next book, which will feature him and the youngest Neumann sister, Sophie He has overcome so much from his past, and his hard work and determination to succeed are finally coming to fruition in a thriving community I felt so frustrated for him as his plans to buy his own farm and care for his family are thwarted and he must come up with a solution to his growing problems I m thoroughly enjoying this historical series and can t wait to read the next book I received a complimentary copy of the book all opinions in this review are my own I was so excited to finally join Bethany House reviews and this book s synopsis looked perfect.Unfortunately, the book did not live up to my expectations at all.Disclaimer I did not finish the book All thoughts are based on the first few chapters and what I skim read I tried to only base my review on things I had read, not thing I assumed First off, I couldn t have cared less for the characters The main girl believes in God, but believes He doesn t want her any because she s sinned But she ll fake Christianity because the main guy believes it and she wants to impress him Also we were given convenient little snatches of her background that were supposed to make us feel sorry for her It did not work on me The main guy was a piece of work He flirts with the main girl when he doesn t even know her, and doesn t seem to care whether she is a Christian or not He saves her from some boys though, so he s won her heart That s where I stopped I was done with characters I didn t like and standards lower than my own I did skim read the rest of the book and stumbled on a very, very passionate kissing scene I was skimming it and I had way to much detail I didn t really like what I saw with the rest of the story, but since I did not read it, I won t go into that Overall, this was a very disappointing read I will not be reading anything by this author.
Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she s learned that
- 343 pages
- Together Forever (Orphan Train, #2)
- Jody Hedlund
- 10 January 2017 Jody Hedlund