This is the second book in the Orphan Train series and it can definitely be read as a stand alone :).
I was not too familiar with the orphan train system that was prior the foster care system. I was educated through this heartfelt novel as well as with the author’s notes at the end. It was very intriguing to me, that I ended up conducting my own research learning so much more:). I have volunteered in programs that help foster children and it is never an easy matter. Not every child in foster care is treated fairly and I just want to spontaneously thank anyone right now who has given of themselves and loved unfortunate children when it’s easier to look the other way. Thiers is the kingdom of God 💕 .
Author Jody had me captivated from page 1 until the last page. I felt empathy for the 32 children traveling this train and felt my heart tearing reading about already broken children being forced to be separated from siblings. I fought tears when devastating circumstances appeared and let them run down shamelessly with a few that ended up with good results. Not only was I caught up with the children but also in the romance formulated with the main characters, Marianne and Andrew. They had to learn valuable life lessons about courage.
“Too often when we think of courage, we think of Hercules and having extraordinary strength to face a mighty foe like Hydra or battle nature. But don’t you think sometimes it takes even greater courage to accept our losses? And not just accept them, but move on and continue to live?”-character Marianne in Together Forever by Jody Hedlund
I applaud Jody for such a wonderful novel and rate this book a 5 star 🌟. I hardly talk about book covers but, I loved this silky feeling illustration and the title pops out. Call me a dork but, I had fun caressing the title lol. What is that 5-D?! I obviously am not too familiar with imprints 😂. Anyway, this is a great summer read for anyone but, especially for those who love historical romance, and novels that involve children. With out further ado here is Together Forever (Orphan Train)
Marianne Neumann has one goal in life: to find her lost younger sister, Sophie. When Marianne takes a job as a placing agent with the Children’s Aid Society in 1858 New York, she not only hopes to give children a better life but seeks to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train.
Andrew Brady, her fellow agent on her first placing trip, is a former schoolteacher who has an easy way with the children–firm but tender and funny. Underneath his handsome charm, 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 amid small railroad towns in Illinois, they find themselves growing ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy threatens to upend all their work and change one of their lives forever.