With You Always by Jody Hedlund
Series: Orphan Train, Book 1
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Bethany House
In order to determine which of my sons is worthiest to inherit sole control over all my investments and companies, I am issuing a six-month challenge. The two conditions are as follows. First, each son must build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad. And second, each son must get married to a woman he loves. -From the will of Mr. Quincy
The stipulations in the will of Thornton and Bradford Quincy’s father set a chain of events into motion that will impact many lives other than their own. Elise Neumann, an extremely poor young immigrant woman, struggles to provide for herself and four younger children for whom she is responsible. Her path crosses with that of Thornton and Bradford Quincy when they begin hiring people for employment to move to the towns they are struggling to build in the wilds of Illinois territory in 1857.
Elise Neumann is forced like many others to take a job in the Midwest as there is no longer any work available in New York City at this time. She embarks on a train journey leaving her siblings behind until she can earn enough money to send for them. Women were at a distinct disadvantage at this time in history. Pay was not equal; accommodations were not equal; and life was significantly more complex if you were a female.
Elise Neumann finds her life entangled with Thornton Quincy in spite of their very different social classes. Faith, love, and spirits filled with integrity and honesty eventually bring Elise and Thornton to a place where they can pursue their dreams together.
This book is an excellent start to a new series. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and feel that is one of Jody Hedlund’s best books. The characters are engaging and dynamic. The plot pulls the reader right in from the very beginning and carries through to the end. Ms. Hedlund draws on real historical detail to provide depth to the story. Readers of historical inspirational fiction will love this appealing novel! Excitedly awaiting book two!
This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.