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Together Forever

(Orphan Train #2)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  2,428 ratings  ·  410 reviews
Will the mistakes of their past cost them a chance at love?

Determined to find her lost younger sister, Marianne Neumann takes a job as a placing agent with the Children's Aid Society in 1858 New York. She not only hopes to offer children a better life, but prays she'll be able to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train so they can finally be re
Paperback, 343 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Bethany House Publishers
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  2,428 ratings  ·  410 reviews

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Hedlund is known for the wonderful romantic threads within her stories, and while that thread is certainly present here, the historical details about the orphan train are where Together Forever truly shines. Readers of the first book will remember that details about the orphans were a bit sparse, because it was based on a different aspect of the same organization, helping women find employment. However, in this novel, the focus is entirely on the experience of the orphans and the placing agents ...more
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
I loved that this second book in the series was directly involved with the placing out of orphans and their experiences along the journey. I've been fascinated by this part of history since reading the Orphan Train Adventures books by Joan Lowrey Nixon as a youth, and now that I've adopted two children of my own it's especially close to my heart. Marianne seems to have grown a bit since the previous book, where desperate circumstances drove her to make questionable choices, the ends justifying t ...more
I was so excited to finally join Bethany House reviews and this book's synopsis looked perfect.
Unfortunately, the book did not live up to my expectations at all.
Disclaimer: I did not finish the book. All thoughts are based on the first few chapters and what I skim read. I tried to only base my review on things I had read, not thing I assumed.
First off, I couldn't have cared less for the characters. The main girl believes in God, but believes He doesn't want her anymore because she's sinned. But
2.5 stars
I picked it because I enjoyed the first book in the series and I’ve always been fascinated by the orphan trains. I really liked the first half and the interactions with the children. However, around the halfway point, it becomes just another romance with too much physical attraction and too many deep kisses between two who haven’t known each other over a month and who don’t have any real intention of getting married. And then we have a forced love triangle and a flurry of action at the
Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
Anytime I pick up a book by Jody Hedlund I know three things for certain:

I will learn something new about history.
My heart will be deeply touched.
I will swoon.

Together Forever met all of the above expectations – and exceeded them. I love that the author does a lot of her research from actual first person historical accounts (letters, diaries, reports, etc.) – it adds an even more personal touch to the characters and allows them to vividly come to life on the pages. Marianne Neumann is just su
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
The author packed a lot of heart into the pages of this novel. It was impossible for me not to feel compassion for some of the sweet orphans who captured Marianne’s love on their journey west. I also really enjoyed the developing relationship between Drew and Marianne. Plenty of sparks there!

Drew and Marianne faced many things on this journey which put their fledgling relationship to the test. Could they let go of the guilt that they each carried around? Could they overcome the hurdles that aros
Dana Michael
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another great read by Mrs. Hedlund! The book was about the historical orphan train. It was very well researched. I enjoyed learning from the lovable fictional characters who worked for the Children's Aid Society. I learned about some of the hardships they endured to find homes for these unfortunate children.. This was a sweet romance and I look forward to more in the series.
*I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and was not required to leave a review. This is my honest opinion.
Carole Jarvis
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

Together Forever ranks among my favorite of Jody Hedlund’s books. As with all that she writes, you will find rich historical detail, romance that is palpable, and even a little suspense. Just an enjoyable read in every way.

I’ve not had a chance to read the previous book, With You Always, but understand that Marianne was a secondary character in it and that she made some poor choices. Here, however, she is a dedicated, likeable young lady who
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, historical
What a sweet story! I knew, after reading book one With You Always, that I wanted more time with the orphans, and how happy was I to get it. :) Marianne and Drew have quite the journey to their happy ever after and I thoroughly enjoyed all the ups and downs that came!

Starting with Marianne, it was lovely to see how she had grown since the first book. She made some bad choices then, but is now willing to prove that she's changed. And it's clear to see she has! I was wondering if she'd redeem hers
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A wonderful follow-up to the first book. It’s a sweet romance with adorable child characters and a dash of mystery. I enjoyed this one more than the first book due to feeling more connected to these characters. I can not wait to read the third one!!
I believe that Jody Hedlund can write well. However, I'm not sure she'll write a story that really compels me. The historical aspect of this story was heartbreaking, but the MCs were too immature for me to enjoy this story. There was a lot of taking responsibility for things over which they had no control. There was also a lot of deception that was dragged out until nearly the end. And I felt really sorry for one of the characters. (view spoiler) ...more
Maureen Timerman
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
I loved this book as much as I did the first one in this series, a part of American history, and we get to see it first-hand.
This is the second Neumann sister’s story, Marianne, and we get to walk in her shoes as she travels with the orphans to find them new homes in Illinois. You watch her do what she isn’t supposed to do, become attached to these precious children, and become attracted to her fellow agent Andrew, another no no.
I really found myself page turning, and not wanting to put the book
Tricia Mingerink
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It is really well researched and an in depth look at the operations of the orphan trains.

Marianne sometimes got on my nerves, but she really matures by the end of this book and the romance was adorable.

I really, really can't wait for book 3! I really want to know what happened to Sophie!
Susan Snodgrass
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
'God wasn't about to listen to her prayers, much less answer them."

Marianne Neumann's one priority in life is to find her younger sister Sophie. She hires on with the Children's Aid Society so that to have an insider job and maybe find her sister. The year is 1858 and children are being taken by orphan train across the country to find parents and escape the brutal life on the streets they have been living. But Sophie has seemingly disappeared and Marianne has to find her.

She meets a fellow agen
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
The first book in this series (and these are not stand alone books), was not about the traditional orphan trains as much as I thought it would be. This one was more traditional.  I enjoyed the storyline, and following up on Marianne's story a bit more, getting to know her, as it were. 
Ms. Hedlund is talented at pulling out pieces of history that actually happened, real life stories, both the sad and the good. This book was no exception. 

It addresses something that many of us face, the ability to
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
An interesting look at what it was like to be a child or chaperone on an Orphan Train.

In Together Forever, main character Marianne is looking for her sister that she believes went on one of the trains. She is able to secure a position as an agent responsible for finding homes for children at different stops in Illinois. Her co-agent is Andrew Brady.

It was a sweet story with a touch of mystery.
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Together Forever is what I have been waiting for all year. I absolutely loved Jody Hedlund’s beginning of her Orphan Train series, With You Always. The wait for book two was well worth it. I love how the author uses vivid historical details for her stories. She knows how to transport me back in time and be part of the characters’ lives and this one is no different. Love how she brought Marianne and Drew to life. Another reason why she is among my favorite authors.
I give Together Forever a well
Kristine Morgan
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jody Hedlund never disappoints! I can always count on a good read when I pick up one her books and Together Forever was fantastic. This is book two of her Orphan Train series. I loved reading about Marianne's trip on the placing out train trip. Ms. Hedlund did a wonderful job of recreating the atmosphere of New York City and the desperation of people to provide a better life for their children. I loved the plot and the plot twists. I am eagerly looking forward to the next book! So grab your trav ...more
Vera Godley
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The trauma and heart-hurting rawness of families torn apart, abandoned, suffering, and being given away to others is poignantly written into the pages of Jody Hedlund's Orphan Train series. She has fleshed out the story of peoples in the mid-1800's who because of poverty found themselves in conditions where there were thousands of children abandoned to the streets of New York.

There are two main story lines or emphasis in Together Forever. The first would be the story of the children being taken
100 Pages per Hour
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
The wagon orphan trains of the past drew me to this book and truthfully the series since I worked in an orphanage two summers back in '08 and '09. The plight of these children in this book was especially sad and I found my heart breaking a number of times.

I cannot imagine the logistical nightmare of being these agents in charge of placing all these children and then also doing the follow-up. I was especially impressed with the historical research for the book, but felt like the relationships in
Paula Shreckhise
Together Forever by Jody Hedlund is the second book in the Orphan Train Series.

As usual, Jody Hedlund has woven a terrific tale. She capably turns her research into a realistic story that tugs at your heart. She puts you right in the story through the setting and you feel the plight of the poor orphans who were riding a train out West in hopes of finding a family who could love them.

As agents of the Children’s Aid Society, the job of Marianne Neumann and Andrew Brady is to take thirty-one child
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
" 'Go away!' . . .. . . But the steps grew nearer. 'Don't come around the desk. Please . . .. ' "

Not the most traditional of introductions, but maybe it was just meant to be, that Marianne Neumann and Andrew Brady should happen to meet under such entertaining circumstances. Both were employed as placing agents with the Children's Aid Society of New York, and on the eve of an important cross country trip; chaperoning a train car full of orphans who were anxiously anticipating placements within fa
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Together Forever is the second book in Jody Hedlunds Orphan Train series. Though this book can stand alone, I do recommend reading the first. It will help you better understand the characters in this read.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It isn’t often, if ever, that I’ve read a book about this historical time period strictly from the point of view of those responsible for placing the orphans. It certainly gives one empathy for the task they chose to perform. It took much sacrificial love and giv
Haley S
Jody Hedlund does it again. I am blown away by what an amazing author she is. Somehow, within just a few short pages, she can pull you into a story and make you not want to leave until it is finished.
I have to be honest. I did not like Marianne as a character in the first book, With You Always, in this series. She just was not very likeable in my opinion. However, as soon as I started this book, that opinion changed, and she became a favorite character. Andrew was amazing. I love characters lik
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
I struggled with the decision on what to rate this book. Jody Hedlund is a wonderful and talented author and generally I love her stories and recommend them to who ever I can. This one, however, just didn’t draw me like her other books. I liked Marianne in the first book but couldn’t enjoy her as the heroine this time. Her actions and the thoughts behind them never seemed to show any growth or maturity up until the very last pages of the book,yet it all worked out fine. Everything was wrapped up ...more
Chautona Havig
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
In all honesty, when I requested a review copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, I did hesitate—just a little. You see, along with mail-order brides and Amish courtships, orphan trains can tend to lend themselves to formulaic and rehashed plots.

But I just suspected that Jody Hedlund wouldn’t do that to me. So, I took a chance.

Glad I did.

Ms. Hedlund proved that she knows what she’s doing when it comes to how to place certain elements and where. A master storyteller, she also manages to bring you u
Jody Hedlund has yet to write a book (that I've read) that I haven't loved. Her Orphan Train series has captured my heart and my mind. Waiting between releases is torture. Having the book sitting on my stack waiting it's turn to read? Inhumane. I mean, I have a schedule for a reason but sometimes I just want to toss it to the wind and just indulge. I usually don't, but I desperately want to. I picked this book off my pile, my 60th of the year, during the work week. Work always gets in the way of ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The second book in Jody Hedlund's Orphan Train series is just as captivating as the first one. You can totally read Together Forever as a standalone novel but I do feel like you'll get some of the emotional undercurrents better if you've read With You Always. And this is such an amazing series you'll be more than happy to lose yourself in both stories.

Once again, Hedlund dazzles with fascinating historical facts that boggle the mind and then she weaves an exceptional story around them. The whole
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
My list of book to read keeps growing. I haven't read the first book in this series, and now I NEED to because I enjoyed this one!

This book is set in New York City, a train, and rural town in the country. I liked "seeing" the transition between city life and country life in the 1850's. The book also covers some dilemma's of the time... was it in the best interest of the child to send them to a new home without knowing the conditions the child would be living in? I must admit that I was anxious a
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This second installment of the series focuses on Marianne, the middle sister. When Elise failed to send money back in time to help the sisters find lodging, Marianne, desperate and panicked, resorts to lies and deceptions to help her family. But she is soon found out, and the situation, already bad, becomes worse. This tale is rich in the descriptions and emotions of that time, and filled with the helplessness that people experienced. The family becomes separated, and though heartbroken, Mariann ...more
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Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that

Other books in the series

Orphan Train (3 books)
  • With You Always (Orphan Train, #1)
  • Searching for You (Orphan Train, #3)

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“I think the mission of the Society is a noble one and I'm glad of the small part I can play in giving children a wholesome life away from the vices of the city.” 0 likes
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