A Riveting Look at the Orphan Train from Historical Novelist Jody Hedlund
When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She's had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children's Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn't want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance.
The son of one of New York City's wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother's shadow and is determined to win his father's challenge. He doesn't plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though.
Christy Award winner Hedlund (For Love and Honor) crafts an enjoyable first installment of the Orphan Train Series, about the women involved with the 19th-century movement to resettle orphaned children from the crowded East Coast slums to the Midwest. Due to the 1857 financial crisis in New York City, 19-year-old German immigrant Elise Neumann is forced to leave her younger siblings behind and head west in the hope of finding work. Thornton Quincy is at the other end of the economic spectrum: his father, the owner of Quincy Enterprises, is nearing the end of his life, and he decides to set up a friendly competition between his twin sons to determine who will take over the company. Each son must complete a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad and marry a woman he loves within six months' time. Bradford has always been the favorite, and Thornton views this contest as his last chance to win his father's love and respect. Meeting Elise, Thornton finds himself in an unusual relationship that makes him question the nature of love and his commitment to his family. But, in the end, the vast differences in their backgrounds may be too much to overcome. Hedlund's Cinderella story, shedding light on the hardships women faced in both the East Coast cities and the developing West in the 1850s, is a pleasant romance with plenty of twists to keep readers engaged until the final page.
Beautifully written, compelling characters
This book was amazing from start to finish. The characters draw you in immediately and the storyline keeps you locked in until the final line. I will definitely be reading the remaining books in this series.
This whole series offers so much more plot than you often find in this genre. The characters are likable and engaging, and the plots draw you in. Highly recommended.
Captured by this story!
This was the first book I've chosen to read by Jody Hedlund and it definitely sucked me in.
I loved the story line, the writing style direct and to the point with just the right amount of descriptive words so as not to bore me with fluff rather than action. I found it full of surprises and fairly unpredictable. I stayed up late to read several nights with this one.
This book is a keeper and will stay with me for several days. I'd give it more than 5 stars if possible. Of course, I must order the sequel! My only disappointment is that book three will not be out when I finish book two.
Thank you Amazon and Jody for a free copy of this book through Freebooksy!