Book Review (+Giveaway!): Together Forever

22 May

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.

 


 

About the Author

Jody hedlundJody 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)

Together forever 1Together forever 2

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.”

Together forever 3Together Forever

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!

My Impressions:

Together Forever returns the reader to Jody Hedlund’s excellent Orphan Train series. This second novel featuring Marianne Neumann is my favorite so far. The characters are realistic in their struggles with guilt, self-worth, and forgiveness. Marianne, Drew, and the orphans they accompany to a new life must face the past while looking to a hopeful future. The historical setting of America in 1858 was vividly drawn. I could feel the sway of the train cars and experience small town land farm life in the newly settled West.  And the story kept me turning the pages. There was adventure, mystery, suspense, history, and romance plenty — something for everyone! And the romance, well it is sizzling sweet — fans will revel in Marianne and Drew’s journey towards happiness. As always, Hedlund weaves a faith thread throughout Together Forever. Acceptance, peace and provision are God’s gifts to the characters (and to readers!).

I loved Together Forever and am impatiently waiting on the third installment, Searching for You, which will focus on the third Neumann sister.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Blog Stops

By The Book, May 22

Pink Granny’s Journey, May 22

Blogging With Carol, May 22

ansel book blog, May 22

Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 23

Moments Dipped in Ink, May 23

Genesis 5020, May 23

Blossoms and Blessings, May 23

Reading Is My SuperPower, May 24

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, May 24

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, May 24

Christian Bookaholic, May 24

Just the Write Escape, May 25

Among the Reads, May 25

The Power of Words, May 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 25

Radiant Light, May 26

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 26

The Avid Reader, May 26

Janices book reviews, May 26

Daysong Reflections, May 27

Mary Hake, May 27

Carpe Diem, May 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 27

Kathleen Denly, May 28

History, Mystery & Faith, May 28

A Baker’s Perspective, May 28

Simple Harvest Reads, May 28 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Faithfully Bookish, May 29

God’s Little Bookworm, May 29

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, May 29

Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, May 30

Neverending Stories, May 30

Maureen’s Musing, May 30

Bigreadersite, May 30

Inklings and notions, May 31

To Everything A Season, May 31

Two Points of Interest, May 31

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, May 31

Have A Wonderful Day, June 1

Lighthouse Academy, June 1

Godly Book Reviews, June 1

Red Headed Book Lady, June 2

For the Love of Books, June 2

Vicky Sluiter, June 2

proud to be an autism mom, June 3

Bibliophile Reviews, June 3

Texas Book-aholic, June 3

Connie’s History Classroom, June 4

Pause for Tales, June 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 4

Reader’s cozy corner, June 4

Giveaway

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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

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10 Responses to “Book Review (+Giveaway!): Together Forever”

  1. Suzanne Sellner May 22, 2018 at 6:14 am #

    This facet of American history is one I know little about and am fascinated by the effort to place children in the less populated areas of our country. What a noble effort!

    Like

    • rbclibrary May 22, 2018 at 6:47 am #

      I knew little about this era until I read Orphan Train. That book is set in the early 1900s. Hedlund’s books focus on the early days of this effort. She doesn’t whitewash the process — there were certainly some problems and abuses. But the program certainly had a high aim.

      Like

  2. Arletta Boulton May 22, 2018 at 7:36 am #

    I can’t imagine all those children wandering the streets of NYC. And how scary it must have been for those children to be put on a train and face all the unknowns.

    Like

    • rbclibrary May 22, 2018 at 8:26 am #

      I know. A hard decision but a harder situation.

      Like

  3. Rita Wray May 22, 2018 at 12:17 pm #

    Sounds like a great read.

    Like

  4. Tracy Sylvester May 22, 2018 at 6:49 pm #

    Such an interesting piece of history, and yet sad at the same time.

    Like

  5. Anne Rightler May 22, 2018 at 10:07 pm #

    Difficult to imagine the scope of homeless children. I can’t wait to read this one. Thank you for sharing about the book.

    Like

  6. Jody Hedlund May 23, 2018 at 10:16 am #

    Thank you so much for featuring Together Forever in the Celebrate Lit blog tour! I appreciate your review!

    Like

    • rbclibrary May 23, 2018 at 2:35 pm #

      Thank you for writing books that are so easy to love!

      Like

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