WITH YOU ALWAYS
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, 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 in undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they've been working toward?
One of the things I absolutely love about Jody Hedlund's novels is the way she brings to life some of the lesser known aspects in history -- particularly issues that affected women. And that's exactly what she delivers in With You Always. Of course, I've heard of the Orphan Trains but I had no idea that women were also sent west with that program. Or that it broke up families and left desperate women torn between staying with their children or finding work far away in order to keep their children alive.
And that's the predicament Elise finds herself in. After her parents death, she struggles to keep what's left of the family together. Heartache and sorrow dog her heels as she tries to make a life in the crowded, impoverished slums of New York City. Until the day fate throws Thornton Quincy into her path.
He comes from a life of privilege and, while he's kind and compassionate, he can't grasp the harsh circumstances the immigrants endure. Or how his business endeavors can help or harm hundreds of desperate workers. This contrast between these two lifestyles is sheer brilliance and makes for a riveting read.,,and a complicated romance!
Though Elise isn't his social equal, she's not cowed by Thornton's power and wealth. And she's not afraid to speak her mind and challenge his preconceived ideas. She's good for him and he knows it. He just isn't sure what to do with that knowledge. There's angst and confusion and a piercing sweetness as an impossible love begins to flourish.
A plot filled with the unexpected -- even a hint of intrigue -- and the freeing hope that comes from placing your trust in Jesus even in the most difficult times, makes this first book in the Orphan Train series a stunning success.
Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications.
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