"Sophie knew it was time to stop running from her mistakes and the brokenness of her life. She had to face her sisters before she could move on. She had to do it for them, for her, for them all." ~Sophie
"Was it possible that God could change him into a better man? If Jakob hadn't lost faith in him, maybe God hadn't either." ~Reinhold
It's really hard for me to write up a review for a book that touched me deeply. Hedlund knows how to compose a story that will stay with me for a long time to come. I experienced so many emotions with this one, even to the point of shedding real tears for some things that happened. I always wonder if the author experiences some of the same as they write! My heart ached for Sophie and her feeling so inadequate and bogged down with guilt she's had for so long. Only relying on herself instead of the One who can carry those burdens for her. She's felt like she's made too many mistakes to find favor with God, but that's where His grace comes in to play! And I've admired Reinhold from the very beginning. He's the kind of man who's had to grow up young because of the destitute poverty his family went through. Desperately trying to help provide in any way he can. Also struggling to be the opposite of what his father was, an angry and violent man. He takes on a young man named Jakob that he had saved from the orphanage and strives to make a living from the farm he's purchased. Finding satisfaction in hard work and toil of the land.
I loved the moment Sophie and him meet back up when he learns she's living with his nearest neighbors, the Dun family. Euphemia is the mother figure she never had and takes her completely under her wings, reminding her of God's love for her no matter her mistakes. I love it when side characters play a major role, I would have loved to be one of her “kids”! As you can probably guess, these two fall in love, and I love the journey they take to do so. The road is never straight or easy for them and they must overcome a lot to get there. Lastly, there are so many quotable quotes for me to save, reminders of God's truth that echoed in my own heart. I admire authors who let Gods light shine and allow Him to use their words to touch my own life. I always find this in Jody's books!
The riveting conclusion of the Orphan Train series comes at last, but this story will resonate with me for a long time. The characters wrapped themselves around my heart through all three books and it's going to be hard to say goodbye. Knowing they all get their happily-ever-after will help ease the sting! I've enjoyed this book so much and think Hedlund wrapped it up perfectly. Please be sure to read the Author's note at the end; I'll conclude my review with this because she puts it into words so well:
"It was also my prayer in writing this story to help you—wherever you are in your journey—learn to let go of your burdens and guilt, to hand them over to the One who is waiting to bear the weight for you. He can turn your brokenness and messes and shape the into something beautiful and unique and unexpected—if you just let Him."
*I received a complimentary copy via Netgalley and Bethany House publisher on the authors behalf. No favorable review was required, all opinions are my own. *
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?
Available in paperback, digital ebook, audiobook and hardcover:
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