I found “With You Always” to be an excellent start to Jody Hedlund’s latest series. Set during the mid-1800s, this novel features orphaned members of a family who also take care of two other orphans. During a particularly terrifying street riot, Elise Neumann is rescued by wealthy Thornton Quincy who cannot get her out of his mind despite knowing his father would never approve of her. When their paths cross once again on an orphan train headed to Quincy, their attraction is mutual – but Thornton and Elise have other more important details to attend.
As a history buff, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about challenges to those who lived during this tumultuous era and the vast difference in lifestyles of the rich and poor. Although some aspects of the story itself may have been somewhat out of the ordinary, even those details added to my continued interest in the book. I “needed” to find out how everything would turn out.
Although the rivalry between Thornton and his twin was heartbreaking, especially when dishonesty entered the competition, I was impressed by the changes in Thornton and how his entire attitude changed during the course of the story. I also liked the developments in the relationship between Elise and Fanny.
“With You Always” is emotionally difficult at times because it deals with challenging real life situations such as poverty, physical abuse, betrayal, families torn apart, etc. but the author manages to instill hope in the reader despite the grim realities of the story. She reminds us that even during the most difficult times, the Lord is always with us.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required.All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Could Following the Opportunity of a Lifetime Cost Them the Love of Their Lives?
One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850s New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York Children’s Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society’s orphan trains is not all that it seems.
Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possesses everything except the ability to step out from his brother’s shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire, Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.
Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn’t be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they’ve been working toward?
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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.