Deirdra chose the orphan train over starvation for her children. The abuse of an alcoholic husband who took the money she earned in a laundry--where they suffered constant suffering--left her unable to care for Ava Rose and Joseph. She didn’t know what became of them or if she might see them again.
Claudine waited at the other end of that train. She lost two children. When she took Ava Rose and Joseph, the sun shone again. But life stayed hard and dangerous.
The structure of the story indicates plentiful research. You wonder how the author knows all that. The people ring true. The rhythm of the story draws you in. You believe in the one-room school house. And home-made biscuits with herb tea. And a blizzard that traps a teacher and her students.
The only problem I had with this story is the title. I wouldn’t have read it based on that. The cover and title are mini-billboards for a book It needs a subtitle that tells us about the heartbreak of a mother giving her children to the leader of the orphan train. I see Amazon
added it (or you did) but it also needs to be on the cover for other digital readers.