The Book Worm: Review: With You Always

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Review: With You Always

Book Review: With You Always, by Jody Hedlund, 5 stars


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.

Genre: historical romance

Publication date: June 2017

Mature content: no

Review: With You Always is the most beautiful book I've read in a long time. All books by Jody Hedlund I've read so far are beautiful, but this one is by far the most touching of all. There were lots of pages that made me cry, and not just because I was rooting for a happy ending for Thornton and Elise.

The historical side of the book is very well accomplished, from describing the difficulties of the immigrants coming to America, to portraying the devastating effects of the economic crisis of the mid-nineteenth century, to the hard life of those going West to build new towns along the railroads - intent of getting a job and improving their lives and more often than not exchanging one type of slavery for another.

I loved Elise - her quick wit, her determination and, above all, her courage to stand up for herself and to shout out when something is wrong and needs to be improved. She gets into trouble for it sometimes, yes, but in the end she comes out of it stronger. I also loved the way she finality realized that adversity should bring her closer to God, and not the other way around, and how she was willing to sacrifice herself in order for Thornton to win his challenge, how she loved him so much she put him before her and her feelings.

I had my doubts about Thornton in the beginning, but Elise made him a better man - or at least made him believe he could be a better man and gave him the confidence he needed to show his true colors.

Like I said before, With You Always is a wonderful book and I recommend everyone to read it.

Book two in the series, Together Forever (Orphan Train), has recently been published and it's already on my reading list too.

Happy readings,

the book worm, book blog

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