Book Review and Giveaway: Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

Saturday, May 26, 2018



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.

Click here to purchase your copy!

                             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!



My Thoughts:

This book started out a little slow for me which is unusual for a Jody Hedlund novel. But by about the third chapter I was completely connected and invested in the story.

The relationship between Marianne and Drew began in a believable way. As their friendship grew they were playful, and snarky with each other which I loved!

I love historical fiction because I always learn something and Ms. Hedlund does not disappoint with the historical fact she wove into this story.

The compassion that Drew and Marianne had for the orphans as they traveled west really grabbed my heart.

My Bottom Line:

Together Forever (Orphan Train #2) is packed with heart, historical fact, and lots of swoon. There was a little mystery within the story. I love having children in the story they bring such a unique and individual quality all of their own, and each of these children did just that. Dorothea and Jethro were my absolute favorite of the bunch.
This book can be read alone but I highly recommend reading book one.

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Comments

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I love reading and learning about the early historical orphan trains.

Thank you so much for hosting me on the Celebrate Lit blog tour!

 
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