For Children’s Aid Society employee Addelaide Campbell, riding the Orphan Train is a labor of love—a last, heart-wrenching attempt to do the best she can for the children entrusted to her care. If only she could keep them all…Or at the least, keep children from the same family together. When the sheriff of Somerset, Wisconsin, offers an unexpected proposal that might allow her to do just that, Addie takes a leap of faith—or possibly insanity—and decides to accept.
Miles Linden has sworn off women, children, marriage, and family. In the two years since he lost his wife and daughter to influenza, loneliness has been his constant companion, except on Friday nights when he drowns his sorrows at the local saloon. He’s coping with this arrangement just fine, until the morning he’s rudely awakened by a pert woman and two gawking children who mistake him for a real outlaw, instead of a man sleeping off his liquor on the cot at the jail. Being awakened and accused are the least of the surprises awaiting Miles, since Addie Campbell and the Orphan Train arrived in town.
This novella is ever so sweet. Honestly, sweet is the best word I have to describe it.
I read a book not long ago, also a historical fiction, that included bits about the orphan train as well. Before that, I had no idea those were even a real thing. Can you imagine the kids on those trains? How they must have felt? Scared, alone. My heart breaks just thinking about it. In this book, Addelaide accompanies these children on the train to help facilitate their adoptions. That is a job I would never be able to do. Addelaide is so kind and gentle. I loved her instantly.
Miles is convinced that he will never be able to love again. There is no room in his home or his heart for loving and losing love again. Miles gets tricked into a marriage situation, but he agrees because Miles is just that kind of stand up guy. Even hurt he does the right thing. Thank goodness for that!
This is a novella but I really never felt like it was rushed. The characters were well developed and full of life. I connected with them and loved them. That is sometimes hard to do in a novella length story. I'm not surprised though. Michele Holmes is one of my favorites and she knows how to weave a fantastic tale.
Content: Some mild peril, mention of child abuse
- I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.