Book Review: With You Always by Jody Hedlund

"Let me know when you're done admiring me." (286)

Title:  With You Always
Series: Orphan Train, Book 1
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers
Audio Release Date:  June 6, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction

Could Following the Opportunity of a Lifetime Cost Them the Love of Their Lives?

One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850s New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York Children's Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society's orphan trains is not all that it seems.

Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possesses everything except the ability to step out from his brother's shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire, Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.

Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn't be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they've been working toward?

"Let me know when you're done admiring me." (286) I love this line from Jody Hedlund's With You Always, the first of the Orphan Train series. Not only because it reminds me of all the cute, semi-embarrassing and simply darling scenes between our main characters, Elise and Thorton, but also because it sums up nicely what I think of With You Always. I'm never going to be done admiring it. It's that good.

A story rich with the details many have already heard about the orphan trains that headed west from many of the major cities on the East coast during a time when poverty hits a high note. The story touched on that aspect without filter, but with a level of authenticity that aches in our heart for the hardship they've encountered. Despite that, the characters' resiliency, especially in what we see in Elise inspires us to strive towards something. And seeing the divinity of God's plans played out makes for such a satisfying read, even if not all the questions were answered. 

"You go and rescue your sister. Do it for all of us who've been lost at one time or another." (309)

The romance kind of makes me smile, and cheer and giggle. Is that weird? I hope not, since there are struggles. Yet, even among the struggles, the love that conquered it and help Thorton find who he is was triumphant in more ways than one. Thorton's personal struggle with his identity as a son, a leader and a brother really personified With You Always as a whole, giving readers a hero to root for. And his declaration on page 352 was awesome! In all, With You Always may truly be my favorite novel I've read of Jody Hedlund's so far. 

"Only and always you. And there will never be anyone else, no matter how hard I try to fool myself into thinking there will be." 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.





Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five teen-aged children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

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  1. I love anything Jody writes and am looking forward to these.

  2. Good morning Annie, enjoyed your review!
    Jody Hedlund writes some amazing books and I have both of these on my very long TBR list.

    1. LOL. Readers and our forever long TBR!! Good morning to you too Tina! I hope you'll get to read this soon!

  3. Beautiful review, Annie! Jody is one of my must read authors! :)


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