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Ratings and Reviews (4 7 star ratings
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    WOW! An amazing historical romance!

    The characters are incredibly well developed and I was able to really connect with them on an emotional level. The heartache and anguish that Elise and her sisters experienced was palpable. Many times throughout this book I wanted to just gather them into my arms and take care of them. The historical setting and details were clearly presented and I was able to visualize the scenes as they were happening. This book taught me about an aspect of the orphan train period that I had never known about. I absolutely love it when I can learn about history in the pages of a fictional story. This period has now come alive for me. The maturing process that Thornton traveled was fantastic. From the beginning of the book to the end he truly grew up and became a man. I thoroughly enjoyed the emotional journey to trusting God that both Elise and Thornton went on. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion. Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
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    Jody Hedlund's With You Always

    This story takes place in 1870’s following a financial crises. The setting is in New York City where many immigrants settled looking for a better life in this country. But what they find in this time period is a jobless city, people living in the street, starvation, women having to turn to prostitution, gangs fighting in the street. A time of poverty and discontent. In this story, the reader will learn about " The Orphan Train ". This concept was developed to help keep children clothed and feed plus housed in return for their labor out West. Yet this train broke up many families apart. One German immigrant family consisting of three daughters found themselves in the street accompanied by two other orphaned children. Seeking refuse at a Mission, they found shelter and food in their rudimentary environment. The older sister, Elise Neumann was able to work there as seamstress until the mission closes then she has to take advantage of the Children's Aide Society. She boards a train to head West to an undisclosed location. While on the train she reacquaints with a man, she had literally collided with on a New York street. The man is Thornton Quincy. Thornton is a twin from a very wealthy family. Elise does not know anything about his wealthy status. Thornton is in a competition with his twin brother, Bradford. His father challenged each of his sons to establish separate towns along the Illinois Central Railroad within a six month period. Plus each sons must marry for love. Thornton arranges to have Elise assigned to his town, Quincy with her knowledge. There was undeniable chemistry shared between the main characters throughout the story. Descriptions are deftly woven into the story taking the reader right into the midst of the story. The author incorporates historical details into the everyday happenings making the story vividly realistic. Riveting storyline. A well written historical fiction combined with romance, well defined, realistic and dimensional characters. Jody Hedlund brings history to life in this amazing time period inspiring the reader with the constant reminder that the light of God shines on His steady followers bringing relief in small ways. I highly recommend this book. I volunteered to read With You Always. Thanks to the author and the Influencers via Net Gallery for the opportunity. My opinion is my own.
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    Wonderful Beginning

    I just read the last word on the last page and I'm sitting here with a sigh and a big smile on my face. This was such a powerful yet heartwarming story. My eyes have certainly been opened to the struggles of the poor in New York in 1857. As always Jody brings true history to life in her fiction. I know without a doubt that she researches heavily the history, area, time period and living conditions of what she's writing about and I so appreciate that. She even takes real people from that time and incorporates them in her story as in the case of Fanny in this story, although not the real name. Her author's notes in the back is where I go to first in all her books to get a real sense of what I'm about to read. I was appalled at the living conditions in New York and how many, many struggled trying to survive and provide just a little food for their children. Jobs were scarce, especially for women and many had to go to prostitution just to keep from dying on the streets. Elise was a young woman but also an orphan, and she had charge of her two sisters and two small toddlers that her family had taken in. After she lost her job as a seamstress she saw no other choice but to apply for a job in the newly developing west. Many left with high expectations only to learn they were basically slave labor being paid very little and some were even abused. Elise was offered a position but her first weeks of labor was used to pay her train fare and living expenses when all she wanted was to have enough to send back to her family. Marianne her next oldest sister was in charge of the children but soon was sent out on her own when the mission they were living in closed. How would she ever keep them all together and provide when she had lost her job and living quarters? Elise was struggling too. But eventually she was given a job in the depot restaurant because of her cooking skills by Thornton. Thornton was rich, in competition with his twin brother, who were each instructed to build a new town out west along the railroad. Their father would give the winner control of his company. The best part of the story for me was how Elise and Thornton (but especially Elise) learned how to quit blaming God for their troubles and look to Him for guidance and strength. Elise had pulled away from God ever since her father, then her mother passed away. But she eventually realized that though she pulled away from God, He never left her side. She had many lessons to teach Thornton about how to live and how to treat workers under his employ. This is a book that I'll be thinking about for a very long time. I'm looking forward to next book coming out in this series. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher but was not required to write a review positive or otherwise.
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    With You Always

    A wonderful book, I recommend it for everyone who loves a great historical novel, and a life lesson. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy it's a great book.
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