A brief summary from Jody Hedlund:
Marianne Neumann has one goal in life: to find her lost younger sister, Sophie. When Marianne takes a job as a placing agent with the Children’s Aid Society in 1858 New York, she not only hopes to give children a better life but seeks to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train.
Andrew Brady, her fellow agent on her first placing trip, is a former schoolteacher who has an easy way with the children–firm but tender and funny. Underneath his handsome charm, though, seems to linger a grief that won’t go away–and a secret from his past that he keeps hidden. As the two team up placing orphans amid small railroad towns in Illinois, they find themselves growing ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy threatens to upend all their work and change one of their lives forever.
Sometimes, its nice to see a character’s growth. But, sometimes, its nice to reunite with a character who grew into a person you’ll adore without you having to watch it happen. Its like they went off on their own and improved themselves, leaving you carefree instead of leaving you in turmoil over the growth process.
I feel like Marianne’s character is the latter, and I rather quite enjoyed the new, self-assured woman we meet in Together Forever compared to the headstrong, willful young girl we were first introduced to in With You Always. Marianne hopes to find her missing sister among the many orphans on the orphan train, or at one of the stops in the towns the Children’s Aid Society is looking to place children at. But placing children with families takes a toll on Marianne’s hopes of ever finding her sister, especially when things take a rather dark turn.
While Together Forever isn’t my favorite novel of Jody’s works, I did enjoy reading Marianne’s story and meeting both her and Andrew Brady, the endearing and funny hero. As book #2 in the Orphan Train series, Together Forever sets the stage for Sophie’s story, Searching for You, which releases in December. And, I can’t wait!! I’m excited to read her story!! If you haven’t checked out this series yet, get started before December gets here!
I was graciously provided a free copy of this novel from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.