Searching for You by Jody Hedlund is the third book in Hedlund’s “Orphan Train” series. In this series, Hedlund takes an interesting perspective on this historical phenomena, following the perspectives of three German immigrant sisters and how their lives in America were all touched by the orphan trains of the Children’s Aid Society.
This book follows the story of Sophie Neumann, the youngest of the sisters in this series. She has been living on the streets and somewhat on the run while taking care of two young children, Olivia and Nicholas. As their lives are threatened in New York, they escape westward via the orphan train to Illinois.
Reinhold Weiss, an old friend of the Neumann family from Germany, has grown up and moved on with his life after being unable to win the hearts of either of Sophie’s older sisters. He and his brother live on their farm in Illinois and are working hard to bring the rest of their siblings to live with them also. When one of their neighbors gets an orphan from the train to help out with their farming and work, he’s shocked to find Sophie again.
One thing I’ve found about Hedlund’s books is that they get better as the series progresses. Usually I find the first book the most dull of a series, as it is setting up the location, time period, and new characters, and I tend to like the later books in her series because they seem to flow better and are more lighthearted. The same was true of this series; Searching for You was probably my favorite amongst all of them. It was delightful to see characters from the previous books make an appearance, and because of all the time spent setting up the characters, I would recommend reading the whole series rather than just this as a stand-alone. The plot was sweet, albeit predictable, but it was just a nice, heartwarming story to read during the cold weather.
Thank you to the author and to Bethany House publishers for sending me a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.
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