Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
About the book:
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?
This was not exactly what I expected from an Orphan train read as it was not your typical story. Or maybe it was, and I have read ones that are not like this before.
One thing that made me very sad, was seeing how the country has not changed in their actions in treating immigrants, the poor and orphans. This tale brings to life the hardships that were facing the young people of this time and their desperation. Women were seen as a cheap commodity rather than what they were really valued for. The other sad reality in this book, was parents that manipulate their children with money. So, with those factors being a part of this historical novel, you get a happy ending, which many people in that time did not get, but after much pain and suffering which was reality.
I really liked this book overall. I could see that some people might not like certain pieces of it, but it was real life and it was not pretty. But for that reason, likely recommend for high school age and adult.
If you want a good historical book to read, pick this one up.
This book was given to me by Bethany House for review. The opinions contained herein are my own.
To purchase, it is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. “With you Always”