Review: Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

Together Forever by Jody Hedlund
Victoria's Rating: 2.5 out of 5 bookmarks

This just wasn’t my personal cup of tea.

I really wanted to like this book and I was incredibly excited about the prospect of reading a book about the orphan trains. I have loved that piece of history and have enjoyed doing research on that movement as well as reading other books about it.

This was Book 2 in a series and I have not had the privilege of reading Book 1 yet. I think you could probably read this book as a standalone. It didn’t have much story from the previous book that wasn’t explained enough to keep me from being confused.

As any proper review should, I will start off with the things that I enjoyed about this book.

The Children & The Plot

Jody Hedlund did a good job of giving each of the children a different personality and I loved that they were so different, loveable, or difficult as the case may be. I also liked that not everyone was perfect. There were children with realistic troubles, from older boys with insubordination issues, younger children who were homesick or had emotional journeys, and children who were excited. There was a realness to their reactions and actions that I found refreshing and a realistic view of what it would have been like.

The plot was full of twists and turns and I was constantly astounded, in good ways and bad as you will see later in my review, but nonetheless, I commend Hedlund for keeping me on my toes and unable to guess the way it ended, except for the romance, of course.

The Romance

The thing that turned me off from this book was the romance. I have a particular viewpoint in the way romances should be written, and the fact that Jody Hedlund kept putting us in the head of the main characters and some of their thoughts were, well, shall we say, somewhat graphic. I really don’t want to know about people thinking what it is going to be like when they are married and share a bed. It made something that shouldn't be this way feel flippant and dirty to me and I honestly don’t need to have those thoughts, and the fact that they were liberally sprinkled throughout this book docked several stars for me. It made it unenjoyable as a result.

Along those lines, so much of the romance was physical attraction, which I understand needs to exist, but there was little else in the way of solid reasons for the couple to marry in the end and it ended up being an incredibly fast relationship, which again, can work, but when you are just ogling his “devastatingly handsome looks” to use the phraseology of the author, then what’s the point? Do you love him or do you love the way he makes you feel and the way he looks? Personally, I think this is a dangerous mindset on marriage or even a relationship. Choosing to marry someone is so much more than just how you feel or how that person looks.

That’s not to say that the author did not redeem some of that and make some character quality attractions and coexisting things together, but the prevalence that the emphasis on looks had annoyed me. In addition to that, the flippant way in which he proposed also annoyed me. It felt like they said, “hey, I challenge you to marry me, I bet you won’t do it!” And the girl just rolled with it. “Okay!” Kind of ridiculous.

That being said, these are my personal thoughts on the book, and I know not everyone will think the same way I do about it. If you enjoy historical romance, you might enjoy this book. While I wouldn't recommend it for teens or young adults, if you are a married woman, you might find it enjoyable.

Content Advisory

Mentions of having thoughts of the marriage act, sharing a bed, etc. were somewhat numerous throughout. As well as a heavy emphasis on physical attraction and admiring each other’s physique. A murder took place, a murder trial, descriptions of a fist fight that nearly ended in death, other wounds, a near drowning and other smaller and less described tragedies occur.

Purchase Together Forever on Amazon.
Available in Kindle, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook formats.

Victoria Lynn is a “Jane of all trades” who seeks to master them. She runs several small businesses and is the girl behind the blog, Ruffles and Grace. She is an Indie Author with a passion for literature and the written word. She lives in the glorious state of many lakes, Michigan, with her parents and eight siblings. She devours books and likes to say that if she could get paid for every book she has read, she would be a millionaire. Some of her favorite things to do include writing fiction, learning new things, acting, creating something with her hands and playing the piano or singing. She also is one of the founders of Ichthus Family Productions and seeks to honor the Lord in all that she does.

Disclosure: The publisher provided us with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Victoria Lynn

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