Searching For You – Jody Hedlund – Orphan Train #3 – Bethany House Publishers – 4 December 2018
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?
Searching For You is the third book in the delightful Orphan Train series. This historical Christian series is absolutely delightful, combing heartfelt stories of challenges overcome with the love and bond of sisters, as well as amazing (swoon-worthy) romance.
I was fortunate to be able read all three books in the Orphan Train series all together (one benefit of waiting for an entire series to be published before starting book one). And I am so glad that I could, because as soon as I started the first book in the series I knew I wanted more of this charming family facing such difficulties. More of swoon-worthy romance. More challenges overcome through faith and community. As soon as I finished each book I eagerly picked up the next. While each of the three titles in the Orphan Train series could be read as a standalone, I believe that it is much better to read them as a series, better to understand the depth of each of the characters, their relationships and their journeys, separate at times and yet each interconnected.
In Searching For You the series is brought full circle with the story of the youngest Neumann sister, Sophie who has been missing since she ran away in book one. Sophie has under her care two young children whom she loves as if they were her own. She has sacrificed everything to protect them and keep them together as a family, even as it cost her a life with her sisters. When she and a friend are forced to flee New York they find themselves on an orphan train, with every intention of leaving before being placed with new families. But the draw of a new family proves too strong and soon the little make-shift family find themselves separated in the town of Mayfield. The reappearance of family friend Reinhold Weiss provides Sophie with the perfect opportunity to reclaim her children, even if it means a marriage of convenience and the risk her sisters will find her. But hiding her growing feelings from Reinhold might prove difficult as he continually assists her and a spark heats up between them. But can their arranged marriage be a forever one?
This third book was a wonderful addition to the series. I liked Sophie and her determination to keep her little family together, even as she is weighed under by grief for her failings. Once again the chemistry and connection Hedlund creates between her two main characters is tangible – you can almost feel the sparks leaping from the page. I loved Sophie and Reinhold’s relationship, their progression from friends and helpmeets to sharing their feelings with each other.
This truly is a beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable series and I highly recommend it to readers who like Christian historical romance.
Genre: Christian historical.
Themes: Romance, family, sisters, orphans, children, marriage, farms, farming, orphan trains.
Published: 4 December 2018 by Bethany House Publishers.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. 341 pages.