Thursday, 9 September 2021

[Review] - Together Forever by Jody Hedlund


There's been a paperback copy of Together Forever by Jody Hedlund sitting on my desk for over three years, and I'm finally getting around to reading it. What's the holdup? First off, I wasn't aware it's book two of a series until after its release. Secondly, the plot involves an 'Orphan Train.' Ironically, that's the name of the series, which I would have known if I paid more attention to the cover. I have nothing against orphan train stories, but there are too many books covering the topic. And after a while, the plots become a bit stale.


Like I already mentioned, Together Forever is the second out of four books. I've never read the first book, so I don't know if this is a continuation or a standalone story.

Together Forever begins in 1858 New York and centers on nineteen-year-old Marianne Neumann becoming a placing agent with the Children's Aid Society. Her goal is not only to help orphans find a better life, but she's also in search of her lost younger sister, Sophie.

Marianne travels with fellow agent and former schoolteacher Andrew Brady to Illinois to find homes for thirty-one orphans. Remember, this is a love story, so you can probably guess what happens next. Yes, sparks fly between them, and a relationship blossoms. Like any good historical romance, there are a few bumps in the road for them.



Final Thoughts

It's not my first go-around with a Jody Hedlund story, though I haven't read any of the books in this particular series. I have a bad habit of beginning a series with book two, and that's never a good thing if it has a continuous plot or returning characters. If that happens to the be case with Together Forever, it didn't affect me from enjoying book two. As far as I can tell, it's a standalone story, though the character Marianne could be a holdover from the first installment.

Jody Hedlund has a natural talent for writing detailed descriptions, which is a must for any fictionalized historical story, and that talent shines here. I appreciate all the research she must have endured getting all the historical details correct. I liked most of the characters, though Andrew came across as one-dimensional. There were a few dull chapters. I was never bored, but the pacing was off for me. Nevertheless, Together Forever was a decent romantic read.

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