With You Always - Jody Hedlund

With You Always

By Jody Hedlund

  • Release Date: 2017-06-06
  • Genre: Religious
Score: 4.5
From 54 Ratings


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.


  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.*
  • First book in Orphan Train series!

    With You Always by Jody Hedlund is the first book in the author’s new Orphan Train series. The novel starts in 1857 in New York. Elise Neumann and her two sisters were out on the streets until Miss Pendleton discovers them. She persuades them to move into her Seventh Street Mission. Elise works as a seamstress in the workroom on site until the recession hits. Left with no choice, Elise agrees to go west with New York Children’s Aid Society to find work as a seamstress. Marianne and Sophie, Elise’s sisters will stay in New York with Miss Pendleton at the mission along with two young children the Neumann’s took in. Thornton Quincy and his twin, Bradford are given a challenge by their dying father. The son who establishes a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad and marries for love will become the new head of his company (they only have six months). Thornton establishes the town of Quincy, Illinois (want to guess where Elise ends up). Elise and Thornton had met in New York during the gang riots and Elise made an impression upon Thornton. They meet up again on the train and have an instant connection. But Thornton cannot let himself be distracted from his goal of winning the competition. As it turns out, Elise can help Thornton with the town and his life. Can Thornton give Elise up to marry a woman of his class? Which brother will win the competition? With You Always is well-written, has a steady pace and flow, and good characters. I enjoyed the authors descriptive writing which brought the story and characters to life. The characters were lifelike with real life troubles, sorrows, happiness and love. I liked Elise (and her values) and how she influenced Thornton and others. There is a light, Christian theme throughout the book that I appreciated. We see how God is always with us not matter how we feel towards Him. I enjoyed the authors take on the orphan trains. I have read several books about the children sent out west to find homes, but there are very few on the woman that went looking for work. I was drawn into this story and it held my attention until the end. There are several storylines in this novel, but it is easy to keep track of them along with the related characters. Ms. Hedlund did a wonderful job of portraying this time period. She showed the struggles that immigrants, women, and the poor faced in our country and the difficult choices they faced. I give With You Always 4.5 out of 5 stars. At the end of the book, I was left with a couple of unanswered questions. It is frustrating and disappointing when you finish a book and it is incomplete. I hope answers are provided in the next book in the Orphan Train series (which I will be reading).