Review: Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

Together Forever

Paperback, 384 pages                                                   Rating 5*

Published:  May 1st 2018                                              Bethany House Publishers

ISBN13: 9780764218057                                              Series:    Orphan Train #2

As noble as Marianne Neumann knew becoming a placing Agent with the Children’s Aid Society, she had another goal in mind when she applied.  Marianne had to find her lost sister.    Along with Marianne was another Agent who accompanied her with all of the orphans – Andrew Brady who she discovered had once been a former schoolteacher.  Marianne couldn’t help but notice how wonderful Andrew was with the children and as the journey continued, she couldn’t help but admire his dedication and love for their charges.   They couldn’t help growing closer during the journey but, unfortunately, a tragedy changes all the plans they were developing for a happily ever after.  

***  First of all, I found this this novel fascinating.  I had never heard of the Orphan Trains but I must admit I think I would have signed up to be a volunteer to help find these children a better life than living in the cramped and unsanitary conditions most were pulled out of in search of a better life.   Yes, some probably weren’t better off but the fact that some folks were dedicated to help them makes my heart glad.  

It was also wonderful to have this focused on the people were such good Christians that they saw and felt the hand of God helping them to get the best placements in the best situations they could and that they went back to check on the children to make sure the children were happy.

I loved the characterizations of all involved from the two protagonists to the orphan children who were written with such care, love and emotion.  When the author is as good as this you can totally visualize the children and all the characters as real people as well as hear their voices.  

The journey was not an easy task keeping the children from boredom and keeping them amused, but the author showed how competent both Marianne and Andrew were at making the best of a tough situation.   Eventually it was a no brainer to see these two wonderful kind and beautiful people come to admire then love one anther.  

Bottom line:   A most endearing story I didn’t want to see end.  

Marilyn Rondeau

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