Saturday, May 26, 2018

My Review of Together Forever by Jody Hedlund plus a giveaway!

Welcome!  I am featuring Jody Hedlund and her Orphan Train series today.  The book in the series include:  An Awakened Heart (a prequel), With You Always, Together Forever, and Searching for You (December 2018).  Jody Hedlund is the author of over a dozen novels including those above as well as Love Unexpected, The Preacher's Bride, and A Loyal Heart.  She currently lives in Michigan with her husband and five children.  You can follow Ms. Hedlund on Facebook, Bookbub, Amazon, and Goodreads.  You can find out more about Jody Hedlund, her books and sign up for her newsletter on her website.
Together Forever by Jody Hedlund is the second novel in Orphan Train series.  Our journey begins in 1858 in New York City where Marianne Neumann has taken a job with the Children’s Aid Society.  While Marianne could life a life of luxury since her sister married Thornton Quincy, she is determined to find her sister, Sophie.  Marianne will be embarking on her first tour the next day, and the other agent who will be accompanying her is Andrew “Drew” Brady.  Drew is a former schoolteacher who is good with children.  He has a way of making things fun and entertaining for them.  Drew, though, has secrets from his own past that continue to haunt him.  The pair journey across Illinois finding homes for their children in their charge.  They get to know each other and grow closer on the tour.  Then an unfortunate tragedy occurs that will change the future they had planned.  Will they be able to overcome this tremendous obstacle?  Hop on for trip into the past in Together Forever.

Together Forever is well-written and an engaging novel.  The book has a gentle pacing, good flow and smooth transitions between sections.  While it is the second book in the series, Together Forever can be read alone.  With You Always is summarized in this installment in the Orphan Train series.  However, I recommend reading the series in order.  You get to see the characters mature.  Marianne has changed and regrets her actions in With You Always.  It was interesting to find out more about the orphan trains and how they operated.  What these children suffered is just heartbreaking (living on the streets, being abandoned, having no food, abusive homes).  As Marianne soon discovers, you can only pray that God will deliver them into good Christian homes and that the children will not be harmed or used for free labor.  I appreciated that we get to see a variety of people in the story.  Farmers, shopkeepers, housewives, business people, and children.  Many of them are wholesome Christians, but there are a couple of bad seeds.  They are realistic characters with flaws, issues, and concerns.  It was pleasurable to catch up with Elise and Reinhold.  There are good and valuable life lessons in the story (keeping Faith, importance of prayers, violence is wrong, forgiving yourself as well as others).  Together Forever is a heartwarming, Christian novel.  It is an emotional book that will tug at your heartstrings.  I am curious to read Sophie’s story and look forward to the release of Searching for You (December 2018).

Thank you for visiting today.  I will return tomorrow with my review of Heart of the Witch by Deanna Chase.  May you have a merry day.  Before you depart, make sure to leave a comment and then enter the giveaway.    I hope you will take the time to check out the other stops on the tour.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader


To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away y a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!  Click here to enter.

Blog Stops

By The Book, May 22
Genesis 5020, May 23
Radiant Light, May 26
Mary Hake, May 27
Carpe Diem, May 27
Simple Harvest Reads, May 28 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Bigreadersite, May 30
Vicky Sluiter, June 2


  1. I love reading and learning about the early historical orphan trains.

  2. I love reading about the orphan train. I have been wanting this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Thank you so much for hosting me in the Celebrate Lit blog tour! Blessings to you!