Guilt can be good, and it can be bad. Properly applied, it can draw one to the Savior. There are many who, though forgiven, washed whiter than snow, cleansed from all unrighteousness, go through life still carrying the burden of their sin. Others, like Drew and Marianne in Together Forever, hold on to guilt that was never theirs to begin with.
Together Forever (Orphan Train, #2)
by Jody Hedlund
Series: Orphan Train #2
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date May 1, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Mystery, Clean Romance
Setting: Illinois Civil War Era - US - 1849-1865
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
Marianne Neumann became a placing agent with the Children's Aid Society with one goal: to find her lost sister. Her fellow agent, Andrew Brady, is a former schoolteacher with a way with children and a hidden past. As they team up placing orphans in homes in Illinois, they grow ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy changes one of their lives forever.
I would like to thank Celebrate Lit, Netgalley for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
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There are so many things to like about Together Forever. The plight of the orphans. The richly developed characters. The swoony attraction and romance that grew between Drew and Marianne. The mystery. The conflict.
I loved the way Marianne thought herself to be weak and inadequate, and yet she had such inner strength and compassion that she continued to do what she knew was right. Her deep love for the children in her care led her to step out of her comfort zone, and she grew so much. She had so much to learn about the price of telling lies and the freedom that comes from the truth.
Drew was so close to God, and yet he had so much to learn about forgiveness. He allowed his past and his father to dictate his view of himself. I loved seeing his interactions with the children. His breezy, carefree way of distracting them from the unknown future and the way he directed them to God in prayer was so heartwarming.
Just as I thought things were going so well, tragedy threw everything into turmoil! I enjoyed the twists in the story. The answer to the secondary mystery surprised me.
This lovely story is part of a great series. I read the prequel, but not book one. Though I am now very curious about Elise’s story, I didn’t feel like I missed anything in this story for not having read it.
She offered him a wavering smile. He captured her in an instant portrait, her beauty, her sweetness, and her strength. He tucked it into a pocket of his mind where he could easily pull it out. He had the feeling he’d need that picture of her often during the trying days and weeks to come.
Then he pushed forward, walked out the door, and didn’t look back again.
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!
Read a Preview of Together Forever
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Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 23
Moments Dipped in Ink, May 23
Genesis 5020, May 23
Blossoms and Blessings, May 23
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Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, May 24
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, May 24
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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
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Daysong Reflections, May 27
Mary Hake, May 27
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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
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
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Red Headed Book Lady, June 2
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Bibliophile Reviews, June 3
Texas Book-aholic, June 3
Connie’s History Classroom, June 4
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Reader’s cozy corner, June 4
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