Journey to Love (Marie’s Story, 1901)
The Orphan Journeys Series
By Amanda Tero
About the Book:
Now orphaned, Marie is swept miles away from the only life she knew to be sheltered by unknown guardians. Caught in the challenges of a new life, she cannot prevent changes from happening, but she can keep the Bowles and their friends at arm's length. Or can she?
While things appear to transition smoothly on the outside, Marie struggles against the turmoil she faces on the inside. She sees something in the Bowles and her new friends that she had never experienced before...but should she trust what the preacher is teaching when it goes against everything she had accepted as truth? Is God really a God of love? If He is, then is Marie willing to accept it?
Follow Marie as she begins the journey to love.
About the Orphan Journeys Series:
Imagine yourself as an orphan, struggling for survival on the filthy New York streets, where disease and crime run rampant. Journey from these wretched streets to a temporary lodging in an overcrowded orphanage and then to the train station. After riding the train for hours, picture yourself lining up with other children, waiting as adults look you over. Would you be chosen—or would you have to hold onto the hope that maybe, at the next station, someone would want to bring you home?
Minister Charles Loring Brace had a vision for New York orphans that brought them through this journey from streets to homes. He began his orphan work in 1853, then in 1854, because of lack of orphanage space, Brace sent the first orphans by train to Dowagiac, Michigan, where the children could be sheltered by local families. The "orphan train" continued until 1929, bringing at least 150,000 children to new homes where they were fostered and, occasionally, adopted.
Brace desired to place children in good, Protestant homes. Many orphans experienced Brace's desire, but some orphans had different stories: siblings were separated, and some couples took orphans to use for cheap labor. Though many orphans ended up as successful men and women, not all of them turned out to be trustworthy citizens.
Orphan Journeys is a fictional novella series based off of the American Orphan Train saga, following orphans not only as they adjust to a new life, but also as they embark upon a spiritual journey.
Journey to Love is a touching story of transformation. Painfully shy Marie Dixon, an orphan with a terribly unhappy past, is sent from New York to Illinois farm country on the Orphan Train. God has directed her path—in her new home, she encounters many people who introduce her to His love. We get to follow her on her journey to accept that love.
Though perhaps hard to identify with at first, because of her difficult attitude, Marie grew on me. She was totally believable as a twelve-year-old who wasn’t raised in a true Christian home, lost her parents, and was uprooted from all she’d ever known. I wanted to see her open up to the bountiful love of Mr. and Mrs. Bowles, Mary and Celeste Thornton, and the others. Amanda Tero did an admirable job of tracing Marie’s spiritual journey. It felt like God could really have changed someone that way. One part that I particularly appreciated was that Marie, even after she was saved, wasn’t completely transformed right away—she still had to struggle to forgive someone. That’s realistic. Sometimes newly saved characters are portrayed as immediately getting the whole Christian picture and becoming perfect, and that always takes away something from a story. But it wasn’t the case here! Marie’s realism added to Journey to Love’s impact.
I liked the historical setting, though I would have welcomed more detail (I love detailed settings, so other people would probably be just fine with the amount!). The Bowles’ house was lovingly described. I think I personally would have liked a little more story, but the focus on spiritual things does set this book apart from others of its genre. In the back, there’s a handy list of Bible verses used in the book!
Journey to Love would be great to read with kids. While being intrigued by the Orphan Train, they’d learn about love—both the love of God for us and how our love as humans should reflect it!
4.5 Stars! I received this eBook in exchange for my honest review.
~*~About the Author:
Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
Connect with Amanda:
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