Friday, December 21, 2018

Searching For You (Book #3 in the Orphan Train Series) by Jody Hedlund [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:  My mother was born about 60 years after the setting of the Orphan Train Series, but her plight could easily have been that of one of the orphans of the time. Her father died leaving a widow and two very small children. In that time period, widows usually had an extremely difficult time raising small children alone. So my grandmother did surrender her two small children, quite reluctantly, into the care and keeping of a church orphanage.

In Jody Hedlund's series of three books about the plight of a few of the children whose fate was to begin life away from the city and move to the wilderness area of America - the country life, and be part of families who were suppose to provide love, care, food, shelter for them is beautifully and succinctly portrayed in the series. The culminating story of the youngest sister, Sophie, and her journey is heart rending.

The story opens with Sophia in New York and she is embroiled in the gang life believing she is fine. She then witnesses her boyfriend, head of a gang, murder someone. She flees for safety taking the two young children (not hers biologically, but hers emotionally) she cares for and joining an outgoing Orphan Train loaded with children of many ages being sent West to join new families.

The reader's heart is wrenched at the tearing scene when she is parted from the two young children as they are placed in a different home. And then later at an attempt when she tries to see them but their new "father" attacks her.

Her actions are definitely questionable. But the situation is heart breaking.

The book and the entire series is one I can heartily recommend.
[A note about book #3:It alludes to child abuse and sexual assault and also the intimate emotional feelings of newly weds. Because of this, I would hesitate to recommend the final book for younger than 18 years.]

About the book: Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won't abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.

Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life.

Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he's in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?

~~ Read a preview ~~

My reviews of Orphan Train Series:  With You Always #1     Together Forever #2
My review of "Searching For You" soon to come.

Begins December 8
Ends January 5 at 8:00 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only.
Disclosure: Prize for giveaway is provided by author and/or publisher who will send the book directly to the winner. I received a complimentary copy to facilitate my review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given. Purchase it on Amazon


  1. I don't really know anything about the care of orphans, except that I've noticed many orphan train books lately. I'm a public school teacher and have had many students who were adopted from international orphanages in Romania, Korea, and China.

  2. I don't know much about orphans but I would like to find out.

  3. My great grandmother became an orphan after her mother died and her father couldn't care for the children. They all moved in with a different family and 4 of the 5 were adopted by the family they lived with. Some of the families were related, so they ended up being biological siblings and adopted cousins.

  4. I know very little about the history of orphanages within the US. I do know that there are very strict regulations today and orphanages are held to the highest standard which is awesome.


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