About the Book
I enjoy it so much when a story can suck me in and keep me thinking about it even when I am not able to read it. Jody Hedlund’s books do that for me. She can take a historical event and add in a very romantic lead couple and I am a goner. Especially for a romance junkie like me, I like when the romance is just as compelling as the history surrounding the couple’s lives.
Earlier this year I went to a book seminar/fair that featured an author who wrote about the orphan train that operated in American history during the years of 1854-1929. I also happened to read about the Panic of 1857, when the economy was crashing, both of these historical events I either did not know about or I had forgotten about them were touched on in Together Forever. So imagine my delight to see a historical romance set against the backdrop of these two events.
I was carried away with the orphans on the train as they were being ‘placed out’ to their new homes and families. We are given the story from the viewpoint of the two agents, Marianne Neumann and Andrew Brady, who both wanted nothing but the best for all of these children. As a mother, I cannot imagine the despair and hopelessness of putting my children on this train, as a lot of these children were not true orphans in the sense of having lost both parents. Most were street children and had to live in ways that most adults would find appalling.
Add to the backdrop of this history we have the very swoony and heart aching beautiful love story that develops between Marianne and Andrew. Both were interesting characters and both had some less than desirable back stories that each on their own were trying to atone for. Andrew was such a fun guy and a take charge character when he needed to be. Marianne was a refreshing young heroine who looked at the world in her own way and was not at all stuffy or stuck-up. They both had a heart for these children. The trouble these two find themselves in by the end of the book was funny and had me smiling and sighing at the same time. That is after they had already gone through some heartbreaking trouble already.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
About the Author
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.
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.