Book description: "One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850s New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York Children's Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society's orphan trains is not all that it seems.
Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possesses everything except the ability to step out from his brother's shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire, Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.
Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn't be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they've been working toward?"
My review: While I really enjoyed this book, it was more about women traveling west in order to find work instead of orphans heading west to find homes. This book had a great plot though given that that particular historical detail is not often heard. I think Jody Hedlund did a great job portraying the difficult circumstances many women found themselves in as well as the reality they had to endure in order to do what they could for their families. The unique challenge that is presented made for a great plot, and the relationship between Elise and Thornton was well-balanced and fit in perfectly with challenge that Thornton faced. I have really enjoyed reading books by this author, and I felt that this particular book was one of her best. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own.