Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won't abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.
Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life.
Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he's in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?
I have really enjoyed the Orphan Train series and this one was my absolute favorite. Sophie has been running from her sisters for a while, taking care of her two young charges that she did not want to be separated from. In Sophie’s story we see how they have been living and how she has been faring, and within the first few pages we see that Sophie is in a mess and needs help desperately. The life of a city gangster girlfriend is not one she really wanted and it could be quite dangerous.
Due to some unfortunate and dangerous circumstances, Sophie, her two charges, and a friend make their way to Chicago on the orphan train. She is always running and I really wanted her to contact her sisters, but Sophie wanted to make a better life for herself before she stepped back into her sisters’ lives, which both now made something of a success of theirs.
On her trip she begins to ponder if becoming part of a stable family would be better for the children. So she has to make some pretty heartrending decisions and then needs to deal with the aftermath. She also is reacquainted with Reinhold who is still trying to make a go of his farm with his brother’s help. To say he is shocked and relieved to see Sophie is an understatement, he immediately wants to contact her family. However Sophie feeling the way she is about herself is quite stubborn in her request for him not to.
I kept thinking Sophie’s promise was unfair, but by the end of the story I sympathized with her at the deep pain she had been carrying for years. The mistakes she made eating her up. And Reinhold becomes her hero. A reluctant hero at first, but he grows into his role as friend and then husband. I rooted for their marriage and for both of these souls to see past what was keeping them a part.
Sophie, like so many people think that they have to get their lives cleaned up, be a better them, do this, and do that before they can accept their heavenly Father’s love. But Sophie didn’t understand the power of love and forgiveness. She learns it throughout the story though.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.