Friday, January 04, 2019
ORPHAN TRAIN ESCAPE!
I haven’t done a book review in a while. Let me share a historical romance which spoke to me, ORPHAN TRAIN ESCAPE, from the Hearts On The Rails Series by Rachel Wesson.
Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:
Bridget Collins is in dire straits - she needs to get out of New York, fast. With two young siblings under her wing, her options are limited.
First, her priest sends her as an outplacement agent on the orphan trains that run from New York to out west.
With almost forty orphans under her care, she's relieved fellow and more experienced outplacement agent Carl Watson, is there to guide her. But Carl is dealing with his own trauma and finds it difficult to handle the pain the orphans are dealing with.
Through tears and laughter, everyone on the orphan train has a lesson to teach about love, life and loyalty. And Bridget finds a new, unexpected calling. Every child deserves a happy home and Bridget is determined to do whatever it takes to ensure that happens. No matter what the cost…
If you’ve read my books you know I love stories about mail-order brides and also orphans. This book has both.
Bridget Collins is one of six orphans. Although the second oldest, she is the most responsible. When the son of her wealthy employer makes unwanted advances, she hurts him. He fires her and her sister and vows to get even with her. She knows he will.
To escape his far-reaching wrath, she and her three sisters and younger brother take refuge in The Sanctuary. They are given shelter and food. Bridget and her next younger sister are taught sewing, which they do well. Her older sister is self-absorbed due to the loss of her fiancé but is given the job of watching children harbored there, which she does poorly and with resentment. The young brother and sister are supposedly in the care of the elder sister.
Bridget is worried about her two wild older brothers but learns they are in jail. The priest and the kindly woman who helps at The Sanctuary find a way to help the brothers.
Word comes to their sanctuary that Bridget’s nemesis is searching the city for her. Her priest tells her she must leave the New York to escape or she won’t be safe outside the walls of The Sanctuary. She reluctantly agrees to become a mail-order bride.
Her priest arranges for her to be one of the supervisors on an orphan train going west. She takes her two youngest siblings with her, determined to keep them rather than let them be adopted. She feels the same way about two of the other orphans.
When I write, my books have a lot of dialogue and not so much narrative. In general, that’s what I like to read. Rachel Wesson uses a lot of narrative, but her writing is so compelling that she held my interest until I’d finished the book.
I highly recommend ORPHAN TRAIN ESCAPE to anyone who likes to read historical romance. There are two additional books in the series, ORPHAN TRAIN TRIALS and ORPHAN TRAIN CHRISTMAS. You can find the first on Amazon here.