Monday, July 3, 2017
With You Always by Jody Hedlund
This is the first in a series called the Orphan Train Series by Jody Hedlund. I think this is also one of the first books I've ever read by Jody. It was definitely rather predictable with the normal fairy tale ending. That was a little disappointing, but it's what we expect in historical fiction.
What I did like about the book was, at the end, Jody mentioned the Orphan Trains, led by the Children's Aid Society, which were a real thing in the 1800's. In 1857, the era this book was written, there was a financial crisis and economic panic with women laborers being at a disadvantage and having a hard time finding working in New York. The Children's Aid Society, in addition to sending orphans out West, set up special placement offices to send women out West to find jobs as seamstresses, cooks, launderers etc. They were placed in the Midwest, most often central Illinois in the hopes of a better life.
This is the premise that this book is based on. Elise, the main character in this book, is the oldest of three girls and they have taken in two orphan children as well. When the financial crisis hit, she was without a job and so took the train West to the town of Quincy in the hopes of securing a little financial freedom and being able to send for her sisters and the two orphans. I like Elise. She is outspoken and witty and she challenges the status quo. Of course, she also falls in love with the founder of the town, who is the son of one of the richest men in New York City. Hence the fairy tale.
I don't want to give away any more clues to the story. I did like that the story is based on actual fact, though obviously Elise's story was an extreme case. But it is definitely in the light-hearted chick flick reading category for me.
This book was given me by Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review.
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