The Hope of Azure Springs

The Hope of Azure Springs

by Rachel Fordham

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800734732
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/03/2018
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 249,833
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Rachel Fordham started writing when her children began begging her for stories at night. She'd pull a book from the shelf, but they'd insist she make one up. Finally she put her love of good stories with her love of writing and she hasn't stopped since. She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.

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The Hope of Azure Springs 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
LucyMR1 6 months ago
This is a wonderful debut novel that had me turning pages quickly. It touched home for me as my mom was put in an orphanage at age five. I recommend five hankies as it broke my heart to think of those poor children standing on a platform waiting to be chosen. The author does an amazing job of bringing this piece of history to life. This is a beautiful story of healing and restoration. Em is a character you will fall in love with and wish you could meet. She will make an impression that will stay with you even after you turn the last page. Highly recommend. I can’t wait to read more by this author. Perfect example of God healing the broken places in our lives. I was blessed to win a copy of this book. The honest review and opinions are own and were not required.
LucyMR1 6 months ago
This is a wonderful debut novel that had me turning pages quickly. It touched home for me as my mom was put in an orphanage at age five. I recommend five hankies as it broke my heart to think of those poor children standing on a platform waiting to be chosen. The author does an amazing job of bringing this piece of history to life. This is a beautiful story of healing and restoration. Em is a character you will fall in love with and wish you could meet. She will make an impression that will stay with you even after you turn the last page. Highly recommend. I can’t wait to read more by this author. Perfect example of God healing the broken places in our lives. I was blessed to win a copy of this book. The honest review and opinions are own and were not required.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I couldn’t put this book down. From hardship to friendship to love. Also coming to peace after loss. This story has it all. I truly hope Rachel Fordham continues to write, even make a sequel. Thank you for this awesome inspiring story.
SarahSundin 8 months ago
A delightful debut novel. Rachel Fordham draws a sympathetic character in Em, who grows – and also causes growth in those who come to know her. Caleb is a wonderful hero, strong but flawed, and the romance between Caleb and Em is unique and intriguing. What sets this novel apart is the refreshing message – what is true beauty and how do we perceive it? I highly recommend this novel and look forward to more from this author!
D-does-reviews 8 months ago
This is a very enjoyable coming of age story that I really enjoyed because of the sweet and comical interactions between all of the main characters in the story. Em is a dirty, frail and seriously injured young woman at the beginning of the book but she’s also a young woman to be admired because she was orphaned at an early age and her life has also had many hardships, yet she still has a gentle and loving spirit that shines through her pain. Her heart is not filled with self pity as many of ours might be and although she’s seen the worst that man can do she always sees the good in people and is grateful for the loving family that welcomes her into their home while she recovers from a gunshot wound. The Howell family’s twin daughters take an instant liking to Em because she happily spends time with them while she tells them stories that make them believe in romance and a happily ever after. Meanwhile, Azure Springs, Iowa’s town sheriff and all around nice guy, Caleb, does everything he can to find the man who shot Em while he becomes her protector and friend. Soon they have much in common, including mourning the loss of younger siblings, finding joy in the little things, and well as a fierce thirst for competition that made me laugh out loud. All in all this is a very heartwarming and very entertaining book.
Pattistep 8 months ago
What a wonderful story! I loved the character of Emmeline. Despite mistreatment and loneliness during her teenage years, she retained her sweetness of spirit and her care for others. However, she struggles with confidence because she considers her appearance to be quite plain. As her caring heart becomes evident to those around her, there is no doubt that her true inner beauty shines clearly for all to see. As Em overcomes fear and doubt, she begins to dare hope that she can find a happy, useful life. But will that life include the handsome town sheriff? And does he come to realize that Emmeline is the woman of his dreams? I was cheering for her every step of the way to find her happily-ever-after. An engaging and unique storyline makes this author’s debut novel a keeper. I’m looking forward to more from this author. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
StoreyBookReviews 9 months ago
True love always wins, but sometimes you have to search for love because it can be elusive. Life seems somewhat simpler back in the 1800's, but then I think I would miss some of the conveniences like air conditioning! There would still be the different personalities of people that you would see today - those that are self absorbed, those that are obsessed with money and wealth, those that are kind and help everyone, and those that just want to be happy. Em and Caleb both fall into the last two categories - they are kind and help those around them and just want to be happy. They may not know what it will take to make them happy but they keep searching. My heart went out to Em after hearing about the orphan train and losing her sister Lucy at a previous town. And then to learn what Em went through by the person that took her at the last town, she lived in squalor and food was scarce, it was heart breaking but not unexpected all things considered. Caleb had his own share of sadness by losing his brothers to war. That was just as hard on him as it was his parents and you wonder if it affected them equally or if it hit one person harder than the other. There are some wonderful scenes when Caleb visits his parents with Em. I think once the visit was complete everyone had a better understand of what the other felt and that no one person's grief was greater than another. The story is sweetly woven and the interactions between Em and the various characters showed her grit and graciousness. The romance that evolves from Em and Caleb started in friendship which is the best place to start. There is even a lesson taught to Eliza by Caleb which is a lesson many could stand to learn in this world about being humble. There are wonderful supporting characters such as Milly and Mae, twins that can't get enough of princess stories. Margaret is unique but much loved by the people in the town despite her eccentricities. The epilogue will have you a bit misty too.
Nicole_C 9 months ago
4 1/2 Stars!! In Rachel Fordham's debut novel "The Hope of Azure Springs," she immediately draws her readers in with an authentic, powerful story of faith, love, and resilience. This is a must read for fans of historical fiction. The story takes place in Azure Springs, Iowa during 1881 in the heart of the Western wilderness. The pain Em feels recalling how she was separated from her 7 year old sister after arriving on the orphan train 7 years ago and the hardships she faced in her life afterwards pulls at the reader's heartstrings and demonstrates the strength and resilience of the human spirit. Em is determined to find her sister after all these years. The heroine Em is plain and not particularly attractive. Sheriff Caleb Reynolds is a handsome, strong hero who is determined to find the people who killed her guardian and shot Em. He finds himself slowly becoming attracted to Em over time. His father helps him realize that beauty is found within and shares the following advice with his son, "Don't let anyone else decide which kind of beautiful is right for you. You find a girl who brings out the best in you. Who you can see a happy future with. That's your kind of beautiful." Readers will experience a wide range of emotions while reading "The Hope of Azure Springs." Even through the pain and sadnesses Em faces toward the end of the story (a tear-jerker for the readers!), she becomes stronger as a person and uses her experiences to make a difference in other children's lives. A wonderful debut novel from Rachel Fordham! I can't wait for her next book!!
Anonymous 9 months ago
The Hope of Azure Springs is a splendid debut! Author Rachel Fordham has a knack for characters who come to life across the page. Em, an orphan brought West and now grown, must deal with the abuses of her past, while confronting how to move forward with a future. When she meets Sheriff Caleb, her plain appearance turns him off, and yet, she proves to be much more than the woman he sees at first glance. Azure Springs carries a detailed heart-wrenching plot through the dusty corners of the West, touching on topics of orphan care, abuse, beauty, and ultimately hope. Fordham's characters also experience grief and loss. They often reflect on loss by addressing the deceased as if present. Christian readers may find this questionable; however, there's a real human element to these discussions, bringing in brief dialogue about heaven and life after death. Christian readers will relish the topics this harnesses. Fordham tells a captivating tale, unleashing powerful truths not often touched. I look forward to more from this author and highly recommend Azure Springs.
Britney_Adams 9 months ago
The Hope of Azure Springs is a stirring story! Em is an endearing character who has experienced much heartache, and the care and kindness she finds in Azure Springs are touching. Intrigue and romance weave their way through the narrative, and my emotions were engaged as the dramatic tale unfolded. Always happy to discover new authors, I enjoyed The Hope of Azure Springs and look forward to reading more from Rachel Fordham. I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
Virginiaw 9 months ago
I can’t believe this was a debut novel. This made me laugh and cry. I did not want to put this book down. The orphan train was an interesting idea but unluckily there were too many people who would abuse the system. I loved the characters of Em and Caleb. There were so many twists and turns for a historical novel. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Deana0326 9 months ago
This is a beautifully written story that takes readers to 1881 where the land was hard to work and the town was small in Azure Springs, Iowa. The author captures the time period with breathtaking scenery painted by words. I could see the town and the promises of growth and wealth in the small but almost forgotten piece of the world. The character Em is a rare and mysterious young woman. She has been left to die but lucky for her was found and taken in by a gracious family. Em has had a hard life and her strength overwhelmed me. She never gives up and her determination is far greater than most her age. I loved how she didn't want hand outs and was willing to work to repay the family that helped her. She also has a mission to find her sister. Caleb is the sheriff and wants to find out who hurt Em and why. He has this sense of protection over her and wants to help her find answers to her past. Their relationship is slow and I kept wondering why Em was referred to as a plain woman. Perhaps people couldn't see the real beauty she had inside. The author draws the characters closer as they open up about their past. There are emotional times that brought tears to my eyes. Will Em find her sister? Can Caleb and Em learn to trust each other? It's hard to believe this is a debut novel . The writing flows easily and the character development is right on track. There is a bit of danger in the story that will keep readers on their toes. Overall I love the townspeople and how they came together to help Em feel at home. I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing . The review is my own opinion.
KrisAnderson_TAR 10 months ago
The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham takes us back to 1881. Em Cooper has been shot and left for dead. She was lucky to be found and transported to Azure Springs, Iowa where the Howell family has taken her into their home. Sheriff Caleb Reynolds is responsible for keeping the law in Azure Springs and the surrounding area. He wants to catch whomever harmed Em and her guardian George. Em was taken in by George seven years prior when the orphan train came through the area. She has been living in a dilapidated barn and scrounging for food since then. Three men came to the farm and proceeded to tear it apart looking for something. When they did not find it, they shot George and Em. She can provide Caleb with a description and it matches that of men who recently robbed a stagecoach. While Caleb works the case, he finds himself drawn to Em with her kind nature and generous heart. Em is eager for the bandits to be captured so she can begin her search for her sister, Lucy. They became separated when Lucy was adopted, and Em has worried about her ever since. Em is grateful her prayers were answered, and she was freed from George, but she has yet to realize that she is the answer to others prayers. The Hope of Azure Springs is well-written story with a gentle pace and a beautiful cover. I liked the main characters of Em and Caleb. The supporting characters of the Howell family and Margaret Anders (I like her attitude) helped enhance the story. Em has had a difficult life, but she does not let it get her down. She has a positive attitude and a grateful heart. Em has a different way of looking at things and she helps others with their grief. The romance was sweet, and it focused on the individual’s character (what is inside the person) instead of their physical appearance (though Caleb is handsome). I like the Christian elements present throughout the story. The presence of God in our lives, having faith in God, God’s grace and prayer. Other themes are hope, self-reliance but also knowing when to accept help from others, friendship, enduring love, and the value of self-worth. The road to a happy future is a bumpy one, and Em’s journey will be an emotional one. I like how the story goes full circle. My rating for The Hope of Azure Springs is 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I hope the author gives Eliza and Margaret their own books. I would like to see their stories play out. Readers who enjoy clean western romance novels will be delighted with The Hope of Azure Springs.
NDowning 10 months ago
Rachel Fordham is a new author to me. But I must say I enjoyed the book very much. It was entertaining, kept my attention, and the characters were interesting. I hadn’t heard about the orphan trains before, so I guess you could say the book was educational as well. I look forward to reading more by this author. The only “negative” think I could say would be that I didn’t care for the design of the cover, I don’t get the “cutting off the head of the person” idea. But that is just a personal preference. I would give this book a four out of five stars. Revell provided me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
FHlady 10 months ago
Debut novelist, Rachel Fordham, has clearly showed in this book that she has talent. A sweet story focusing on the journey of Em who left New York as a child of 12 along with her 6 year old sister, Lucy, on a orphan train. Beautiful, adorable Lucy is quickly selected by a set of parents, but each time Em is bypassed due to her plain looks, freckled face, and forlorn demeanor. The characters is in the small town of Azure Springs were so supportive and filled Em's life with hope. Her lack of confidence, her plain jane attitude, hid a deeply caring heart that made her beautiful. Sheriff Caleb Reynolds was a perfect hero to help Em find her inner beauty. I really like how he grew as he saw the difference between Eliza and Em. Em's unshakeable love and desire to find her sister was evident throughout the story. Each of the major characters as well as a few minor ones learned that the loss of loved ones wasn't easy but locking away the memory of them only made them hurt more. Rachel Fordham captured the meaning of enduring love, hope, self-reliance, friendship, and the value of self-worth throughout this story. Excellent novel from a first time author. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
PrincessGlor 10 months ago
This is an excellent read by debut author Rachel Fordham. I thoroughly enjoyed the book from it's great characters to the suspenseful moments to the absolutely lovely ending that made me smile and shed a tear or two. The ending was perfect! It was a nice, easy read that I read in less than 24 hours and it kept me engrossed from beginning to end. It has a great message in that losing people you love doesn't mean you have nothing left to live for, but that you need to live for them and the ones we lose never truly leave us. The book does have some sad moments but the takeaway is love is stronger then anything, even death. I will definitely read this author again! I received this book from the publisher and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
Phyllis_H 10 months ago
The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham A heartwarming, inspirational historical adventure My rating is 4 stars Even Em’s name was plain. She knew that she was not a beauty and that no one would ever look at her that way. Despite her looks, Em had a heart of gold. She was kind and willing to work hard. Her outlook was quite positive and she didn’t expect anyone to do anything for her. I loved the way she constantly told stories to the seven-year-old twins Mae and Milly to entertain them. She was able to help those around her who grieved, which was very sweet. One of the themes of this lovely story is how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It wasn’t Em who needed to learn this lesson, however, but Caleb. He had his eye on the town beauty and only spent time with Em because of her case. At first. Then he started enjoying spending time with her and was able to open up and have fun in a way he hadn’t been able to for years. I love the lessons he learned through the story. There were a number of people in the story dealing with grief, each in a different way. Author Rachel Fordham handled this in a very compassionate and tactful way and kindly helped her characters to grow and heal. The story showed a different side of the Orphan Trains than the more romanticized view often seen in fiction. Unfortunately, not all the placements were made with care or the right motives, and not all the orphans were treated well. I appreciate that the author didn’t choose the easy solutions. While Em’s appearance improved after she began to eat properly, she would never be considered the town beauty. There were a couple of other situations that were resolved appropriately, but not necessarily “happily”. Some things detracted from the story, in my opinion, causing me to not give it 5 stars. While overall the writing was good (as you can see by the quotes I’ve included) and the plot was interesting, the dialog was a little awkward and some of the phrasing could have been reworked to be better. I felt that Em’s character was too perfect. Not in outward appearance, but just about everything else. When faced with a new situation, I knew she was going to always do the right thing, and it annoyed me a little. Not that I love mean characters – Em was just a little unrelatable and unrealistic. In the part where she wrote a letter, I would have liked to have seen things spelled as she would have spelled them and the speech to sound a little more countrified instead of almost everyone having perfect grammar. That said, if you enjoy historical novels with a hint of mystery and danger, you will probably enjoy this one. Give it a try. Read the full review of The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham with a Preview at AmongTheReads.net I would like to thank Netgalley, Revell for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Blooming-with-Books 10 months ago
Beautifully moving... The Hope of Azure Springs By Rachel Fordham When a young woman is found alone and shot she is brought to Azure Springs, Iowa. Her identity is unknown and why she was attacked is of utmost concern to Sheriff Caleb Reynolds. When Em wakes up Caleb is even more concerned to learn that Em wasn't the only victim of these men. And Caleb is sure that if these killers learn that Em survived they will come looking for her. For the last seven years, Em has had to survive without the love and care of family, living with a guardian who seemed to care little for her day-to-day needs. The care that those in Azure Springs offer her is something she never expected. But Em has a sister she needs to find - one that she was separated from seven years ago. She promised herself that she would go back for Lucy and her chance has finally come. The Hope of Azure Springs is a story that offers the hope of healing after heartbreak. Healing comes not in hiding and burying the hurt but rather in remembering the joy that came before. And when we see beyond our own pain to reach out to others we allow ourselves a chance to offer comfort and to be healed. There are definitely moments when you'll want to have a tissue or two on hand while reading but it will be worth it. Fans of Janette Oke's books will enjoy this book - Em reminds me a little of Damaris (A Woman Named Damaris) with her struggles and her efforts to overcome. Those who enjoy historical fiction that deals with the different aspects of the Orphan Trains will want to add this to their to-be-read list. Rachel Fordham has created both likable and unlikable characters who don't always do what you expect them to do. The writing style keeps the story moving even when the action slows down and the characters have moments of contemplation. I recommend this to anyone who desires a well brought together story and this would be an excellent book club choice. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Revell with no expectations of a positive review ~ all opinions expressed are my own.
joyful334209 10 months ago
The Hope Of Azure Springs is a very unique story. You have a very bad villain who kills Ems guardian who is not all that nice - actually is very abusive - and tries to kill her by shooting her - now she ends up in a town Azure Springs - where the people treat her with love and respect and tenderness. She meets up with the Sherriff who wants to help her find out who shot her and her guardian. Now where does GOD fit in? This is extremely important. How does she handle the people treating her with respect and tenderness? How would you after being treated like a dog? I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all of the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to christianlybookreviewers.blogspot.com
AmyWa 10 months ago
The Hope of Azure Springs contained all the elements of a good book in my opinion. The characters were compelling, the story drew me in and I didn’t want to put it down. I read the book in a couple days and found it to be an easy read.I would recommend this book if you are a fellow lover of historical fiction. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. I was blessed to receive an electronic complimentary copy from NetGalley but I wasn’t required to write a positive review.
caribougirl 11 months ago
What a fantastic debut novel for Rachel Fordham! This novel takes place in a small Iowa town in 1881 where we find a wounded girl who is nearly dead. Her name is Em and as her story unravels, we learn about how she came to be in Iowa on the orphan train several years earlier. Through a series of losses, each seeming greater than the last, she finds herself in Azure Springs, where she learns how to live and love again. The town sheriff, Caleb, sees Em as a case to solve, but as he digs deeper into the her past to catch the criminals who left her for dead, he learns that there is much more to Em than meets the eye. The story line itself is fantastic - holding to a bit of romance and a bit of mystery, some drama and a lot of character growth and development. While Em is the focal point of the story and her growth and healing are central, she also brings hope and healing to several others in the town of Azure Springs and beyond. Her sweet and humble spirit, strong work ethic and ability to be honest and put people at ease in her presence allow her to bring that same healing to others around her. The focus of the book itself is about this healing and growth and learning the meaning of true beauty. I loved the characters and enjoyed the subtle twists and turns - this wasn't a run-of-the-mill romance story. The story had great depth itself. I had laugh out loud moments and several tear-jerking moments. The ending was such a beautiful turn of events and I just loved how it turned out. I hope the author offers some spin-off prequels to go into further depth on some of the minor characters of this book as I want to learn more about them as well. Overall, kudos to Mrs. Fordham on an excellent debut. I would highly recommend! Special thanks to NetGalley and Revell publishers for an advance e-copy of this book. The thoughts and opinions contained in this review are my own and I was under no obligation to provide it.
TrixiO 11 months ago
3.5 stars The setting is Azure Springs, Iowa circa 1881. The circumstance is an injured young woman named Em with an unknown background. She’s taken in by the kindhearted Howell family and under the protection of Caleb Reynolds, town sheriff. Learning of bandits who killed & robbed her guardian, he vows to bring them to justice while making sure she’s in safe hands. What he didn’t count on was the more time he spent with Em, the more his heart becomes entangled with hers. Perhaps God brought these two together for love & healing! My heart ached learning all the things Em’s been through in her young life. Losing both parents when a fever raged through her hometown & her sister when they were separated on the Orphan train. Then to top it off, she was attacked by three men who left her for dead and killed George her guardian. She’s shown the kindness of strangers when the Howell’s take her in to recover. That’s one family I wished was my own! The two youngest sisters Milly & Mae bring her much happiness and helps fill the ache inside her for her own sister. These two are bright sunshine in a world of darkness; their laughter and fun will have them wrapped around your finger! The whole town takes her under their wings and shows her love and kindness, something she hasn’t felt for a long time since losing her parents as a child. Caleb was a hero in every form you’d imagine. He not only looked out for Em’s safety but befriended her without judgment. He’s kindhearted, a good listener and brings humor & laughter to Em’s world. Mae & Milly even call him the prince of Azure Springs! He’s the epitome of every woman’s dream. I have to be honest & fair in my review, so here are a few things I didn’t care for: Em struggles throughout the book with feeling insecure. She was surrounded by people who showed her kindness and tried to help her see the potential she had inside of her. Understandably she has been through the wringer in life, but I really wanted to see more character growth. That’s an important aspect in a story for me, seeing the character growth as it helps me see areas in my life that I can work on too. Eliza, for instance, had character growth; she wasn’t the same person at the end of the book as she was in the beginning. Secondly, this being labeled as Christian or inspirational fiction, I didn’t see a lot of aspects you’d come to expect from a Christian fiction book. There was very little mention of God or how the characters relied on Him throughout the story. It’s a reason I stick with this genre because I need to see faith play a role in a book. I had a hard time really connecting with the story as good as it was; I really wanted to like it more than I did! Conclusion: it’s a wonderful story, lots of emotions, well-written, good characters, a great town that helps each other, and the eventual happily-ever-after I love about romance. Just because it didn’t engage me as much as I wanted it to, doesn’t mean it won’t for other readers. I’d encourage you to come to your own conclusion after reading it for yourself! *I received a complimentary copy from Revell and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions were my own *
PianoLady831 11 months ago
The description of The Hope of Azure Springs by debut author Rachel Fordham was appealing, so I decided to try it – and I’m so glad I did! The beginning pages quickly pulled me in, and I was immediately drawn to the heroine, Em. There’s some suspense, but this is primarily a character-driven story, my favorite style to read. This is a heartwarming story of loss, love and resilience of spirit. I confess to expecting this to be a typical prairie romance, but was pleasantly surprised to find it much more complex. The story combines elements of the orphan train project, going back to Em’s experience seven years earlier, with life on the prairie. Em is a sympathetic character, realistically portrayed – resourceful and able to fend for herself; strong in one sense, yet vulnerable and caring. Caleb, easily drawn by the outward beauty of ladies, wasn’t my favorite character at first, but that soon changed. The best stories are about transformation, and I enjoyed seeing Caleb and Em steadily grow. I also loved how their romance grew from the solid foundation of friendship and mutual respect, rather than being filled with tension and misunderstandings. The Hope of Azure Springs is a feel-good story that delivers on the “hope” promised in the title. I look forward to more stories by Rachel Fordham. Recommended. I received a copy of this book through Just Read Tours and Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Abold24 11 months ago
This is the first book that I have read by Ms. Fordham. This is a historical novel that examines Em and how she came to be in Azure Springs. The book starts out with Em recovering from a gunshot wound and is taken to Azure Springs so that she can recover. There she meets people that help her to not only survive but thrive. They provide not just what she needs, but connections that benefit her later. The sheriff is Caleb Reynolds who is trying to solve what happened to Em. Together they work to discover what occurred. This is an interesting book and I highly recommend reading it! You will not be disappointed! If you enjoy historical fiction, Ms. Fordham will take you back to discovering Em’s story and wondering what will happen next. ***I was given a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher. This is my honest opinion. Even though I received this copy free, this is my own opinion.
FayJac 11 months ago
This interesting book gives the story of Em, an ophan who came west on the orphan trains and was separated from her sister. Her story is one of loss, bravery and survival. Her one goal is to be united with her sister and events take place where her strength and inner beauty shine through. Rachel Fordham is a great writer and this book held my interest. Rachel is a historical fiction writer to be reckoned with. She herself suffered a tragedy in her own family during the writing of this book. This book deals a lot with families who suffered loss, which was common during those times. Em, the heroine, comes through as a fighter and survivalist. I highly recommend this book and look forward to seeing other books by this writer. (Please note: Although a complimentary copy of this book was provided to me by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, the opinions expressed are my own.)