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In this brilliant debut reminiscent of Christina Baker Kline’s The Orphan Train and Kristina McMorris’s Sold on a Monday, three orphans journey westward from New York City to the Big Sky Country of Montana, hoping for a better life where beautiful wild horses roam free. Montana: 1925. Three brave orphans from New York take the Orphan Train west, hoping for a place to belong In this brilliant debut reminiscent of Christina Baker Kline’s The Orphan Train and Kristina McMorris’s Sold on a Monday, three orphans journey westward from New York City to the Big Sky Country of Montana, hoping for a better life where beautiful wild horses roam free. Montana: 1925. Three brave orphans from New York take the Orphan Train west, hoping for a place to belong. An Irish boy orphaned by Spanish flu, a tiny girl who won’t speak, and the oldest, a volatile young man who lies about his age to escape Hell’s Kitchen, are paraded on train platforms across the Midwest to work-worn folks. They journey countless miles, racing the sun westward.  Before they reach the last rejection and stop, the oldest, Charles, talks Patrick and Opal into jumping off the train. They journey through the Yellowstone River and grassy mountains where the wild horses roam.  Fate guides all three toward the ranch of a family rended by loss. Nara, the only child left of a successful cattleman, has grown into a brusque spinster who refuses the kids on sight. She’s worked hard to gain her father’s respect and hopes to run their operation, but if they stay, she’ll be stuck in the kitchen. Nara works them without mercy, hoping they’ll run off, but begins to appreciate their grit, seeing something of herself in them.   The boys are made to cruelly round up wild horses for slaughter. When the horses are cut loose, Charles, who has been in trouble for fighting, is accused and jailed. Nara discovers he’s of age to hang and wanted in New York. Nara fears she cannot reform him, but to save him, she does something that cuts against her every fiber.


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In this brilliant debut reminiscent of Christina Baker Kline’s The Orphan Train and Kristina McMorris’s Sold on a Monday, three orphans journey westward from New York City to the Big Sky Country of Montana, hoping for a better life where beautiful wild horses roam free. Montana: 1925. Three brave orphans from New York take the Orphan Train west, hoping for a place to belong In this brilliant debut reminiscent of Christina Baker Kline’s The Orphan Train and Kristina McMorris’s Sold on a Monday, three orphans journey westward from New York City to the Big Sky Country of Montana, hoping for a better life where beautiful wild horses roam free. Montana: 1925. Three brave orphans from New York take the Orphan Train west, hoping for a place to belong. An Irish boy orphaned by Spanish flu, a tiny girl who won’t speak, and the oldest, a volatile young man who lies about his age to escape Hell’s Kitchen, are paraded on train platforms across the Midwest to work-worn folks. They journey countless miles, racing the sun westward.  Before they reach the last rejection and stop, the oldest, Charles, talks Patrick and Opal into jumping off the train. They journey through the Yellowstone River and grassy mountains where the wild horses roam.  Fate guides all three toward the ranch of a family rended by loss. Nara, the only child left of a successful cattleman, has grown into a brusque spinster who refuses the kids on sight. She’s worked hard to gain her father’s respect and hopes to run their operation, but if they stay, she’ll be stuck in the kitchen. Nara works them without mercy, hoping they’ll run off, but begins to appreciate their grit, seeing something of herself in them.   The boys are made to cruelly round up wild horses for slaughter. When the horses are cut loose, Charles, who has been in trouble for fighting, is accused and jailed. Nara discovers he’s of age to hang and wanted in New York. Nara fears she cannot reform him, but to save him, she does something that cuts against her every fiber.

30 review for You Belong Here Now

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dianna Rostad

    Hello everyone! I wanted to give you a little backstory on my novel. Many years ago, I read an online article about the orphan train. I’d never heard of it. That alone reeled me in. I’m always amazed at the holes in our collective education. Was I not listening in class? I googled to see if anyone else had published fiction about the orphan train. Nothing, except some young adult to mid-grade stuff from the eighties came up. I was astounded no one had ever written a novel about these precious st Hello everyone! I wanted to give you a little backstory on my novel. Many years ago, I read an online article about the orphan train. I’d never heard of it. That alone reeled me in. I’m always amazed at the holes in our collective education. Was I not listening in class? I googled to see if anyone else had published fiction about the orphan train. Nothing, except some young adult to mid-grade stuff from the eighties came up. I was astounded no one had ever written a novel about these precious street kids, bravely setting off for the unknown. When Christina Baker Kline's novel came out, I was excited that it did so well, because that was good news for me! It should have been enough to put my nose to the grindstone, but I was still in the 19th century lusting over Lord Byron, my favorite bad boy from Regency London. Such is the allure of that legendary poet. I picked up my orphan train manuscript from time to time and worked on the storyline but always put it back in the proverbial drawer. It was as if I had become that little wild horse from the opening of my book, wreathing around on the fence for a good ten years, stuck. The real passion for my story began during a visit from my father over Christmas in 2010. He brought pictures from his family’s ranch in Montana, stories, and opened up a big space where I could see things falling together. Many of the characters in the book, the way they talk, songs, legends, are all from my family. Charles is based on my son, who was seventeen at the time, tender inside, but a fierce protector of his siblings. As you’ll read in my book, Charles defends his new siblings with such fervor, he frightens people. Nara began as my maternal grandmother's namesake, but over time, Nara morphed into my brave, strong-willed, eldest daughter who was a natural leader. She was my “rule book.” And in You Belong Here Now, Nara is all about following the rules. Charles believes the only rule is “don’t get caught.” And this is where Charles and Nara collide until each of them bends, seeing the wisdom of what lies in the middle. Rules and laws don’t always measure out justice to everyone in our world, only love can do that. There is a big piece of my heart and soul in this book, remnants of people I’ve loved, feelings I’ve endured that will burst a heart. I hope readers out there enjoy it as much as I loved writing it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    Charles, Patrick and Opal are aboard the orphan train leaving New York City in 1925, each time the train stops the children are hopeful, they might be picked and only to be disappointed. Charles is the oldest, he can be aggressive, he grew up in Hell’s Kitchen and he lied about his age to stay on the train. Teenage Patrick is Irish, his father died during the Great War and his mother and sister died of the Spanish flu. Opal’s 8, she’s small for her age, timid and has scars on her wrists. Bull Mo Charles, Patrick and Opal are aboard the orphan train leaving New York City in 1925, each time the train stops the children are hopeful, they might be picked and only to be disappointed. Charles is the oldest, he can be aggressive, he grew up in Hell’s Kitchen and he lied about his age to stay on the train. Teenage Patrick is Irish, his father died during the Great War and his mother and sister died of the Spanish flu. Opal’s 8, she’s small for her age, timid and has scars on her wrists. Bull Mountain in remote Montana is the trains last stop, Charles is worried he will be overlooked again, it’s humiliating and no way is he going back to New York. He jumps of the train and he didn’t think Patrick and Opal would follow him and they did. Nara Stewart can’t believe it when she finds Charles in her father’s barn, her mother feeds him and she doesn’t know what to make of his story about his brother and sister waiting nearby? Her suspected horse thief wasn’t lying, her mother is delighted to have three children to fuss over and her dad needs extra help on the ranch. The children are allowed to stay, Nara isn’t happy about it and she works the boys hard. Her parents would love to adopt the children, part of the possible adoption agreement is they must attend school and of course Charles gets into trouble. Ivar Magnusson needs help rounding up wild mustangs, Patrick has a gift when it comes to handling horses and the two boys are horrified when they find out what’s going too happened to them. When someone cuts the herd loose, Charles is the obvious suspect due to his past and is thrown in jail. Of course it wasn’t him, it’s pretty obvious who’s the real suspect and things only get worse when Opal gets a visitor! You Belong Here Now is a story about orphaned children being sent west, considered a source of cheap help and children were examined like animals and it was a humiliating experience. Charles, Patrick and Opal thrive in Montana, the Stewart's are a kind, hardworking family, and they open their arms and hearts to the children. Three very lucky children, I received a copy of this book in exchange for and honest review and four stars from me. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erika Robuck

    From the moment the reader steps on the train with these orphaned children, her heart is invested in their journey. Equal parts pain and triumph, YOU BELONG HERE NOW shows how beauty can emerge from even the darkest places.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kristina Civille

    This novel takes place in Montana (1925), where an orphan train is coming from New York carrying three brave children, Charles, Patrick, and Opal. Before reaching their final stop, Charles convinces Patrick and Opal to jump off the train which leads them to a ranch. At this ranch, they meet a unique family which turns into just the beginning of their journey. In this incredible story, the author introduces wonderful characters that look out for one another. This novel truly drives home the point This novel takes place in Montana (1925), where an orphan train is coming from New York carrying three brave children, Charles, Patrick, and Opal. Before reaching their final stop, Charles convinces Patrick and Opal to jump off the train which leads them to a ranch. At this ranch, they meet a unique family which turns into just the beginning of their journey. In this incredible story, the author introduces wonderful characters that look out for one another. This novel truly drives home the point that non-blood relatives can be your family. The relationship between Charles, Patrick, and Opal is a bond so strong that they feel for each other throughout the book. Then, you put them in a household that adapts to these same principles of looking out for one another, and you are left with a full heart. If you enjoy historical fiction about family and strong bonds, you will enjoy this book! I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brandy

    This book was exactly what I needed right now. I have read a lot of romance and thrillers lately, and my last read was pretty intense, so I needed something completely different. I fell in love with the three orphans, all so different yet bonded by tragic circumstances. I also really enjoyed watching their relationships develop with the Stewart family, starting as strangers, growing into an integral part of the farm staff, to becoming family. Why is this three stars instead of four? The pace at t This book was exactly what I needed right now. I have read a lot of romance and thrillers lately, and my last read was pretty intense, so I needed something completely different. I fell in love with the three orphans, all so different yet bonded by tragic circumstances. I also really enjoyed watching their relationships develop with the Stewart family, starting as strangers, growing into an integral part of the farm staff, to becoming family. Why is this three stars instead of four? The pace at times was slow, and it was also predictable. Choose this if you are looking for a sweet, heartwarming read. Thank you @uplitreads for my #gifted copy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    This book was a wow! Oh my goodness this book broke my heart in into a million pieces and pieced it back slowly in this beautiful narrative against the backdrop of Montana and Yellowstone. I had not heard of the Orphan Train before and this told the story of what it might have been like for those children. Historical Fiction fans will devour this amazing story about family, love and redemption. I loved it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    Three children, Charles, Patrick and Opal, board the orphan train bound west from New York City. There are many stops, but none of three is chosen. As they enter Montana, Charles decides with Patrick that their best bet is to jump from the train to survive on their own before the last stop and certain rejection again. Opal is a very young girl, who is determined to stay with the boys as they leap to their new life. They eventually make their way to a homestead guarded by a hardened spinster name Three children, Charles, Patrick and Opal, board the orphan train bound west from New York City. There are many stops, but none of three is chosen. As they enter Montana, Charles decides with Patrick that their best bet is to jump from the train to survive on their own before the last stop and certain rejection again. Opal is a very young girl, who is determined to stay with the boys as they leap to their new life. They eventually make their way to a homestead guarded by a hardened spinster named Nara, who is suspicious of their origins. She puts the boys to work on the farm while Nara's mother is totally besotted with Opal after having lost her other daughter at a young age. Nara's parents are much less suspicious of the children than Nara. She eventually comes to admire the boys' work ethic, and is Charles' staunch supporter when he most needs it. The history of orphan trains is fascinating, and Dianna Rostad has added to our knowledge with this debut novel. My thanks to LibraryThing and the publisher for this ER book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Thoroughly enjoyed. It is NOT exactly Orphan Train!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Early edition book club read. Kids taking the Orphan Train West from New York in the hopes of being adopted. Three are left, heading for the last stop. They jump off the train for fear nobody will want them and will need to return to NYC. Their luck changes, but will they be able to conform and stay with the nice ranch family they stumble upon?! Was a quick, ok read that kept my interest.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sam Sattler

    You Belong Here Now, Dianna Rostad’s debut novel, is a story about three children who ride the Orphan Train from New York to Montana in 1925 only to reach the end of the line still not having been chosen by anyone looking for children to bring into their homes. Stop after stop, they find themselves having to re-board the train hoping that it will go differently for them on the next train platform they come to. But Charles is too big, little Olive is too scrawny and refuses to talk, and Patrick j You Belong Here Now, Dianna Rostad’s debut novel, is a story about three children who ride the Orphan Train from New York to Montana in 1925 only to reach the end of the line still not having been chosen by anyone looking for children to bring into their homes. Stop after stop, they find themselves having to re-board the train hoping that it will go differently for them on the next train platform they come to. But Charles is too big, little Olive is too scrawny and refuses to talk, and Patrick just seems to be too Irish to suit the locals. The three have little in common other than their determination not to end up back in New York City, but when Charles and Patrick decide to jump off the slow-moving train together before it reaches its last stop in Montana, Olive refuses to be left behind. And now the three of them are on foot in what seems to them to be the middle of nowhere. That’s when Charles decides to steal a horse from the family ranch they finally come across, figuring that wherever they are going, riding is a whole lot easier than walking. This, though, is not just any family ranch. It is one in the process of dying right along with what’s left of the family that owns it. Nara, the spinster who runs the ranch along with her aging father now that her brother has made a new life for himself in New York, doesn’t think about the future much. She knows that her father is slowing down, but working from dawn to dusk - and beyond when necessary - is the only life she knows, and she can’t imagine anything else. After she catches Charles trying to steal one of her horses, she only reluctantly agree with her father to let the boy work off his crime on the ranch rather than turning him over to the sheriff. But even after Nara’s mother falls in love with tiny Olive immediately upon setting eyes on her, Nara is determined to work the two boys so hard that they can’t wait to get away from the ranch for good. You Belong Here Now covers a lot of ground. Some will call it a triple coming-of-age novel, but it is much more than that. It is also a novel about decades-old grudges with the power to destroy those who hold them, racial prejudice, the power of family ties, bonding, love, and bottom-line justice. It is the story of six people who learn just how much they mean to each other, and that real families do not necessarily share the same blood. And as Nara learns: “…justice doesn’t come about through rules of law, but rather it rises from the courage of just one person. Someone who yields to the better judgement of their heart. It doesn’t matter whether they’re a nobody, a somebody, or a big shot, so long as they have the temerity to put one finger on the scales.” Sometimes, in order to achieve justice, laws simply have to be ignored. Bottom Line: Historical fiction about the Orphan Trains is not uncommon these days, but it is a story that deserves to be told. It can be argued that many of the orphans sent west from America’s big cities were abused and otherwise overworked and exploited by the people who took them in, but it can also be argued that many, hopefully the vast majority, of the children were given better lives than the ones they left behind. You Belong Here Now tells part of that story. The novel did leave me with the impression that it is as much a YA novel as one for adults, so I recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more about the period in general and about the Orphan Train in particular. (Review Copy provided by Publisher)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    You can’t replay time. All you can ever do is face forward. If there is a theme for every single character in You Belong Here Now, this is it. You can look back with sorrow and regret, wonder what-if, wish things had turned out differently, but you can’t go back and change what has already happened. The only thing you have control of is what you do in the future, and often you don’t even have much of that. Choices may haunt you but you can’t go back for a redo. The three orphans that show up at t You can’t replay time. All you can ever do is face forward. If there is a theme for every single character in You Belong Here Now, this is it. You can look back with sorrow and regret, wonder what-if, wish things had turned out differently, but you can’t go back and change what has already happened. The only thing you have control of is what you do in the future, and often you don’t even have much of that. Choices may haunt you but you can’t go back for a redo. The three orphans that show up at the Stewart ranch are rejects. Patrick’s parents died of the Spanish flu. But Patrick is Irish, he talks funny, and there is a lot of prejudice and hatred toward the Irish. Opal is a tiny little thing who won’t speak. Families are looking to get some good hard work from their orphans, so Opal doesn’t suit. And Charles is a big strong brooding young man, surly and with bruises on his face. Who wants a big troublemaker? So before the last train stop, where they are sure they’ll be rejected one final time and sent back to the unbearable conditions they are trying to escape from in New York, they decide to jump the train and try to make it on their own. Patrick hurts himself jumping, so Charles tries to “borrow” a horse at the Stewart ranch. The Stewart family might not be rejects but they are damaged. Young daughter Mabel was killed in a stampede, leaving lingering bad blood among neighbors. Son John dreamed of becoming an artist, not a rancher and went to the city. His father hopes he’ll return to take over, but that seems unlikely. That leaves daughter Nara, now a moody brusque spinster who can’t seem to fill the void left by either of her siblings. She loves the ranch and excels at running it, but her father believes women should be in the kitchen, so while he relies on her help and expertise now, he shows her no respect and does not intend to leave the ranch to her. Her future seems bleak, made even more so by the bittersweet forbidden attraction between her and their Indian ranch hand Jim. So to say she is not thrilled to discover the three orphans trying to make off with a horse is an understatement. If the children stay Nara is eventually going to be stuck in the kitchen raising them. But they are short of ranch workers and any help is needed. You Belong Here Now is not an easy book to read. The writing seems rough and uneven at time, but it’s actually perfect and fitting, because ranch life in Montana in 1925 was rough and uneven, and worlds away from New York and the other big cities back East. Little by little Charles, Patrick and Opal start to fit in with the family. But it’s two steps forward and one step back, and sometimes just one step forward and many steps back. It’s not an easy road to understanding and acceptance. Not all the Stewarts’ neighbors are welcoming to these outsiders and Charles’ and Opal’s pasts start to catch up with them. This was an absorbing story, full of interesting characters making their way through difficult times to becoming a family. The information about the orphan trains was fascinating and heart-wrenching. What seemed like a well-intentioned project to provide needy children with good homes often resulted in near-slavery for those poor children. Thanks to LibraryThing and publisher William Morrow for providing an advance copy of You Belong Here Now. I was not required to provide a review and do so voluntarily; all opinions are my own. I enjoyed the book and recommend it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Historical Fiction

    Dianna Rostad sets up an intriguing dynamic for her debut historical novel, YOU BELONG HERE NOW. On the one side, there’s Nara, a committed rancher and dedicated spinster trying hard to outrun tragic events of her past. She’s aware that in 1925 Montana, she needs to come off as tough and unemotional to gain and sustain the respect of the men around her. On the other side, there are three children whose paths are about to cross hers. Charles, the oldest, is almost a man --- he’s good at thinking s Dianna Rostad sets up an intriguing dynamic for her debut historical novel, YOU BELONG HERE NOW. On the one side, there’s Nara, a committed rancher and dedicated spinster trying hard to outrun tragic events of her past. She’s aware that in 1925 Montana, she needs to come off as tough and unemotional to gain and sustain the respect of the men around her. On the other side, there are three children whose paths are about to cross hers. Charles, the oldest, is almost a man --- he’s good at thinking strategically and seizing opportunity when it presents itself, but his size and tough-talking New York attitude can intimidate others. Patrick is quick-thinking and smart, but his red hair marks him as Irish at a time when anti-Irish sentiment runs strong. And Opal is quiet but emotionally strong --- her bruises hint at hardships that may come back to haunt her later. These three children --- none of whom knew each other before their journey --- are among the last to be chosen as the orphan train they’re on travels across the country. By the time they reach Montana, Charles --- convinced none of them will be adopted --- decides that they will strike out on their own rather than risk the alternative: returning to New York and an uncertain future there. When Nara encounters Charles, she’s immediately suspicious of the story that the children were raised on a farm in Canada, especially when she sees how little they know about farm life. But their willingness to learn --- and especially their vulnerabilities and their own histories of loss --- starts to erode her brittle exterior and help them form a new kind of family, one that soon will be sorely tested in a number of ways. YOU BELONG HERE NOW offers a vivid portrait of a fascinating episode in American history and will certainly appeal to lovers of character-driven historical fiction. Those unfamiliar with the orphan train phenomenon will be intrigued to learn more about the children’s journey. Likewise, the novel effectively brings to life the anti-Irish prejudices of the time and will prompt reflections on present-day attitudes toward various racial and ethnic groups. Rostad writes lyrically about the children’s journey to belonging and Nara’s journey toward emotional openness, but her writing is most captivating when she describes the Montana landscapes where the story is set and the creatures who live there: “Nobody watching over their shoulders, just the sun warming them. The wind rippling through Charles’s shirt like freedom. The horse beneath had begun to feel as natural as sitting in a rocking chair. It had taken him a while to catch the rhythm of riding, but now it felt as easy as walking, but faster.” Seeing these three city kids find their home in this beautiful but unforgiving landscape --- and seeing Nara open her heart to take them in --- makes for a compelling and timeless narrative. Reviewed by Norah Piehl

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    This book won my heart, I loved all the character, even the evil ones! I love family stories. Nara reminded me of myself in my mother. Like Nara, when her mother and sister were cooking the kitchen, the meals only needed two people to make the meal and Nara only had minor things to do in the kitchen. But she, like my mother, from a family of twelve wanted a role that she could pull her full weight. Nara helped her father and the cattle hands on the ranching, tending to calf births, taking care o This book won my heart, I loved all the character, even the evil ones! I love family stories. Nara reminded me of myself in my mother. Like Nara, when her mother and sister were cooking the kitchen, the meals only needed two people to make the meal and Nara only had minor things to do in the kitchen. But she, like my mother, from a family of twelve wanted a role that she could pull her full weight. Nara helped her father and the cattle hands on the ranching, tending to calf births, taking care of the sick livestock and other related demanding jobs around the ranch in Montana in the 1920s. My mother turned to sewing, making dresses for the men and women in her family. I, in turn, taught myself to cook because mother never did. Nara felt more comfortable in pants and men's clothes, of course. A dress could be a bother and a hazard out on the range. I, by the way, hated dresses with just as much passion as Nara. There many other ways that I identified with her. The children who rode out on the orphan train, endured being picked over and examined like they were livestock or future help for the family, not like future family, Charles,the oldest had developed a quick temper in his childhood in Hell's Kitchen in New York, on the skinnier and slighter build was a red-headed and freckled Irish boy who lost his parents to the Spanish Flu. The latter, named Patrick reminded me of my college literature teacher who lost his mother, father, sister and all his brother to the same. Perhaps if Patrick was adopted before going on the orphan train, he could have been a literature teacher. The last of the children on the long ride of the train was a very shy blonde girl who was tiny. She held her past hidden from others There are memorable characters like Nara's parents, but I do hope that you read this treasure of a book. After reading it, I hugged the book. Dianna Rostad can weave a tale from her own family tales and do it masterfully. I loved this book I received this Advanced copy of this book as a win from LibraryThing from the publishers. My thoughts and feelings are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Revzin

    Textbooks on American History which were part of my school curriculum in the 1950's made no mention of trains transporting orphans from NYC to western states to be adopted by families on farms and ranches. Yet less than 30 years before, such children endured horrific conditions along the way, stopping at train stations and being displayed, inspected, and often rejected by potential families who were often looking for cheap labor. So when I read You Belong Here Now, I was immediately immersed in Textbooks on American History which were part of my school curriculum in the 1950's made no mention of trains transporting orphans from NYC to western states to be adopted by families on farms and ranches. Yet less than 30 years before, such children endured horrific conditions along the way, stopping at train stations and being displayed, inspected, and often rejected by potential families who were often looking for cheap labor. So when I read You Belong Here Now, I was immediately immersed in this character-driven story. The author depicts each of the main characters so well that I could easily visualize each one. Three children on the train have bonded together. Charles, sixteen, is determined to escape from Hell's Kitchen. Patrick, fourteen, whose father died in the Great War, has also suffered the loss of his mother and sister to the Spanish flu. And eight-year old Opal, who is mute after she has been traumatized from suffering physical abuse by her mother . Nearing the last stop without any hope of being adopted, Charles convinces Patrick and Opal to jump off the slow-moving train with him so they won't have to endure a return trip. Patrick suffers an injury during the escape. The children wander through a remote area in rural Montana until they come to the Stewarts' ranch where Charles tries to steal a horse to help Patrick on their journey. But the spinster daughter Nara catches Charles. Instead of taking him to the sheriff, she lets him stay to redeem himself and works both boys very hard. Meanwhile, Nara's mother who has lost a young daughter in a stampede, takes Opal under her wing. The beautiful description of the Montana landscape and of the animals (especially the horses) is what makes this debut novel so compelling. And the underlying themes appeal to readers of all ages: what makes a family; the universal need to be loved, to be accepted, and to belong; ethnic and racial prejudices; forgiveness and redemption. This book is perfect for book clubs, young adults, and fans of The Orphan Train and This Tender Land. Thank you to NetGalley for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Mattfeld

    This historical novel set in 1925, tells the story of three orphans who travel west from New York City to big sky country Montana on one of the many orphan trains. You will get to know and love these brave characters: Patrick, an Irish boy who lost his parents to the Spanish flu, Opal, a sweet little girl who doesn’t speak, and Charles, a troubled young man lying about his age to escape Hell’s Kitchen. Patrick, Opal and Charles form a bond as they experience rejection together at each train stop This historical novel set in 1925, tells the story of three orphans who travel west from New York City to big sky country Montana on one of the many orphan trains. You will get to know and love these brave characters: Patrick, an Irish boy who lost his parents to the Spanish flu, Opal, a sweet little girl who doesn’t speak, and Charles, a troubled young man lying about his age to escape Hell’s Kitchen. Patrick, Opal and Charles form a bond as they experience rejection together at each train stop, which leads them to make a daring decision before the last train stop. This decision will put them on the path of a family of ranchers in Montana who has faced its fair share of heartache and loss as well. Ever since I learned of the existence of the orphan train, I have been pulled to find out more about this period of time and the fate of the many children who boarded the train. I really enjoyed Dianna Rostad’s telling of the story. It was inspiring to see both how the journey impacted the children, and seeing how the arrival of the children touched the family and the community. The book highlights how the children yearned to find a place where they belong, and the uncertainty that they were forced to endure during their journey, both on and off the train. I enjoyed seeing the story from the point of view of the family of ranchers also, and I especially liked their daughter, Nara. I admired her tenacity trying to hold her own in a profession predominantly male, and yearning for her father’s recognition and approval. If you like stories like Orphan’s Train, Sold on a Monday, and When Calls The Heart, you will really enjoy reading this debut novel. Be ready to get inspired to stand up for what is right! Favorite Quote: “ ...justice doesn’t come about through rules or law, but rather it rises from the courage of just one person. Someone who holds power, and a strength of mind that yield to the better judgment of their heart. It doesn’t matter whether they’re a nobody, a somebody, or a big shot, so long as they have the temerity to put one finger on the scales”

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

    Some books/characters stay with you well after you’ve finished the last chapter and this is one of those books for me. You Belong Here Now, Dianna Rostad’s debut novel, is a beautiful piece of historical fiction. The story follows three orphans in 1925 as they journey westward in hopes of finding families and a place to truly call home. After being passed over at several stops on the Orphan Train, Charles, Patrick, and Opal decide to take fate into their own hands and jump off of the train, rath Some books/characters stay with you well after you’ve finished the last chapter and this is one of those books for me. You Belong Here Now, Dianna Rostad’s debut novel, is a beautiful piece of historical fiction. The story follows three orphans in 1925 as they journey westward in hopes of finding families and a place to truly call home. After being passed over at several stops on the Orphan Train, Charles, Patrick, and Opal decide to take fate into their own hands and jump off of the train, rather than facing more rejection or worse, being sent back to New York. They are discovered and taken in by the Stewart Family who are Montana cattle ranchers. As they get to know each other, the reader sees the orphans and the Stewarts dealing with heartbreak from their pasts. I was rooting for every one of them and loved seeing how they helped each other heal, even when coming from such different backgrounds. One of my favorite things about historical fiction is learning about places and times that I wasn’t familiar with before. Dianna Rostad really paints the picture of the Montana landscape, where you can really imagine the mountain ranges and wild horses roaming the fields. I wasn’t familiar with the history of the orphan trains. It was interesting to see how not only the orphans were changed by it, but also the families who took them in. It was sad to see how the children were treated by people in the towns- the distrust and prejudice they faced was heartbreaking. This novel is a story of selflessness, redemption, letting go of the past, and finding out what it really means to be a family. The acknowledgements and “about the book” section at the end are must reads- it was so interesting to see how the author wove her own family history into this story- it made me love the book even more. I highly recommend this one, especially if you are a fan of historical fiction! Thank you to Dianna Rostadand Uplit Reads for the opportunity to read this Advance Readers Copy. All opinions are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emilee (emileereadsbooks)

    Thank you UpLit Reads and William Morrow for the gifted book! On the surface this book is right in my lane. A historical fiction novel that pulls on your heart strings, set in the US, great character development, a plot that moves fairly quickly, and a found family. However although I read this one quickly and really enjoyed the story overall, there were several things that kept me from loving this one. -The perspectives shift between two characters and sometimes it was hard to tell who was talk Thank you UpLit Reads and William Morrow for the gifted book! On the surface this book is right in my lane. A historical fiction novel that pulls on your heart strings, set in the US, great character development, a plot that moves fairly quickly, and a found family. However although I read this one quickly and really enjoyed the story overall, there were several things that kept me from loving this one. -The perspectives shift between two characters and sometimes it was hard to tell who was talking. There is no chapter heading to tell you who is talking and sometimes it would take a whole page to figure out who it was. -The writing style is very choppy. I kept having to go back and read the previous few chapters to see if I missed something, and I never had. At the end of some chapters there would be a paragraph that jumped forward in time or thought process and then left you there. I didn't enjoy how jolting that was. -All the characters didn't feel super fleshed out. I knew the two main characters pretty well, but the secondary characters needed some more development in my opinion. -I don't often say this, but this book needed about 100 more pages to let some events breath more and for us to get more emotions from the characters. (Me saying they need more feelings, you know I must really have felt jipped then!) Overall though the story made up mostly for the things I didn't care for about the writing style. I liked the premise and think that this book will still be well loved by many historical fiction fans. Content Warning: Violence, Racism, Animal Death

  18. 4 out of 5

    Missy (BigSkyBooks)

    Title: You Belong Here Now Author: Dianna Rostad Publisher: William Morrow Genre: Historical Fiction Pay attention to the name Dianna Rostad because I know we’ll be hearing more of it! What a debut! You Here Belong Here Now is a Historical Fiction coming of age novel set in 1925 in big sky Montana. It’s equal parts character and plot driven and both are done superbly. Three brave orphans from New York take the Orphan Train west, hoping for a place to belong. An Irish boy, Patrick, who lost his parent Title: You Belong Here Now Author: Dianna Rostad Publisher: William Morrow Genre: Historical Fiction Pay attention to the name Dianna Rostad because I know we’ll be hearing more of it! What a debut! You Here Belong Here Now is a Historical Fiction coming of age novel set in 1925 in big sky Montana. It’s equal parts character and plot driven and both are done superbly. Three brave orphans from New York take the Orphan Train west, hoping for a place to belong. An Irish boy, Patrick, who lost his parents to the Spanish flu, a petite little girl, Opal, who doesn’t speak and is a runaway, then the oldest, Charles, who has a slight temper, but that’s only because he’d do anything for the ones he loves. He escaped horrible conditions in Hell’s Kitchen. At the next to the last stop on the train, fearing nobody wanting them, Charles talks Patrick and Opal into jumping off the train. They travel along the Yellowstone river and mountains where fate guides them toward a ranch rendered by loss and desperate to find healing. At the ranch is Nara is deemed a spinster and the only child left of a successful cattleman. She’s worked hard to gain her father’s respect and has high hopes to run the operation. She fears if the orphans stay she’ll be stuck in the kitchen with her mother. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 Very close to five stars, but for my personally preference it was a little heavy on the dialogue at times. I absolutely adored the characters in this story! Although I will admit it took me a bit to warm up to Nara. This book is plot and character driven, but I will also add that I felt the author did a good job giving each character a secondary story of sorts within the plot. I loved reading about Patrick’s gently soul and learning to train the wild mustang horses. I highly recommend this book! Thank you @uplitreads + the author + the publisher for this #gifted #arc I look forward to working with you again in the future and thank you for the opportunity!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erin Clark

    In 1925 three orphans from New York are placed on an Orphan Train by the Children's Aid Society to be adopted out west. As the train continues its westward journey towards Montana all but these three children, Charles, Patrick and tiny Opal are chosen by families. None of them wants to return to homelessness and danger in New York and they jump the train and make a run for it. They end up at a secluded cattle ranch run by the Stewart family. Nara Stewart, the daughter is a curmudgeonly middle ag In 1925 three orphans from New York are placed on an Orphan Train by the Children's Aid Society to be adopted out west. As the train continues its westward journey towards Montana all but these three children, Charles, Patrick and tiny Opal are chosen by families. None of them wants to return to homelessness and danger in New York and they jump the train and make a run for it. They end up at a secluded cattle ranch run by the Stewart family. Nara Stewart, the daughter is a curmudgeonly middle aged spinster who would rather be in the saddle roping steers than working in the kitchen. She and her father basically run the ranch as her brother John left the family farm to be an artist. Robert Stewart (Papa) wants his son to return to run the ranch. Nara knows this will never happen and even though she is more than capable her father refuses to let her take the reins because she is a woman. Nara wants nothing to do with the three orphans and suspects they are runaways. But Mama Stewart falls in love with little Opal and over time Nara begrudgingly discovers that she has feelings, if not strictly maternal, of love for the children. They become a sort of family who work together and hold each other up. There is action and adventure, unrequited love and a whole lot of beautiful language on the scenery of Montana. I loved this book. I loved all the characters with all their flaws. Lots of personal growth for Nara and a fulfilling ending for this little pieced together family. Highly Recommended.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elysia

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 "No matter what happened, they were family. People who'd be there for each other no matter what. People you could trust." Thank you @williammorrowbooks for sending me a #gifted copy of You Belong Here Now by @dianna.rostad . This was a wonderful debut novel! My thoughts: You Belong Here Now pulled at my heart strings and had me crying by the end! I found myself cheering on Nara, admiring Charles, and adored Patrick and Opal. I really liked how this book was not only a sweet read but, also on ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 "No matter what happened, they were family. People who'd be there for each other no matter what. People you could trust." Thank you @williammorrowbooks for sending me a #gifted copy of You Belong Here Now by @dianna.rostad . This was a wonderful debut novel! My thoughts: You Belong Here Now pulled at my heart strings and had me crying by the end! I found myself cheering on Nara, admiring Charles, and adored Patrick and Opal. I really liked how this book was not only a sweet read but, also one that pointed to the tough facts of that time in history. In You Belong Here Now, Dianna does a good job at showing the truth behind the Orphan Trains. It had to have been humiliating for those kids to be picked over like cattle and know they were basically becoming servants to these new families. My great grandmother, walked off the Indian reservation as a teenager because of racism in the surrounding cities. Because of that, I appreciated how this book shows that in the 1920's Native Americans and even Irish men were not looked on as equal. It is a bitter truth but I appreciate that this family saw them for who they really are and truly loved them. I also loved seeing Nora work hard to prove herself to her father because at that time in history woman did not run the farm. Their place was in the kitchen. Nora proved herself and I was so happy to see her dad start allowing her to make decisions. The ending is perfect and so sweet! If you love historical fiction, you need to pick this one up! This book will be released on April 6th. Side Note: I couldn't help but visualize the Papa as Beau Bennett from The Ranch. I think Sam Elliot should be Papa if this is ever made into a movie.

  21. 4 out of 5

    M.K.

    Combine three orphans who escape from a train with a hard working, down-to-earth Montana family that has lost their only son to the big city and you have the basis for a heartwarming and captivating story. When Charles, Patrick, and Opal are discovered wandering on their land, the Stewarts - Mama, Papa, and Nara - reluctantly take them in. Charles is the oldest and he's the one who has convinced the others to pretend that they are siblings. However, their story soon unravels when it becomes clea Combine three orphans who escape from a train with a hard working, down-to-earth Montana family that has lost their only son to the big city and you have the basis for a heartwarming and captivating story. When Charles, Patrick, and Opal are discovered wandering on their land, the Stewarts - Mama, Papa, and Nara - reluctantly take them in. Charles is the oldest and he's the one who has convinced the others to pretend that they are siblings. However, their story soon unravels when it becomes clear that each child has a secret from their past. Dianna Rostad does a wonderful job of portraying the life of 1920s Montana along with its beauty. Her characters come vividly alive as the story unfolds: gruff, tough Papa; Mama whose life has been forever changed by the loss of her eldest daughter; Nara who rejects the confines of womanhood and wants nothing more than to look after the ranch; Jim, the hired hand, a Native American with divided loyalties. We also have Charles who wants nothing more than to belong to a family, Patrick whose Irish heritage is a source of rejection and prejudice, and Opal, a young girl who has never experienced a mother's love. Think Little House on the Prairie or, if you're old enough, Bonanza as models for the kinds of issues that emerge. Family loyalty, courage, tough love, honesty, the importance of community, and a sacred duty to the land are the themes that guide the story to its very satisfying conclusion.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mayda

    This amazing tale portrays the lives of orphans nobody wanted and speaks of the hardscrabble life ranchers endured. It will certainly captivate and likely distress readers, as the story of three orphans on a train headed west, who ultimately meet a family dealing with their own problems, unfolds. Charles, Patrick, and Opal are quite different from each other, but they form a family of sorts, more out of necessity than actual affection. But affection does come with time. Nara, now considered to b This amazing tale portrays the lives of orphans nobody wanted and speaks of the hardscrabble life ranchers endured. It will certainly captivate and likely distress readers, as the story of three orphans on a train headed west, who ultimately meet a family dealing with their own problems, unfolds. Charles, Patrick, and Opal are quite different from each other, but they form a family of sorts, more out of necessity than actual affection. But affection does come with time. Nara, now considered to be a spinster, helps out on her aging parent’s ranch. When these two factions meet, there is distrust as well as great suspicion on both sides. All these characters are flawed in some way, some more than others. Mama is in mourning, Papa longs for his son to take over the ranch, Nara is denied owning the ranch because of her gender, the longing she has for a ranch hand cannot be acknowledged because of his race, and the son is failing at his chosen career. But despite all these problems, there is growth of characters as these very different people learn to adjust and accept what cannot be changed. Understanding comes slowly, but it does come, and sometimes you really do have to walk in another’s shoes to comprehend the actions he took. This well written story, with its lifelike characters and intricate plot, is sad at times, but it is also hopeful for the future. It’s a story you don’t want to miss reading.

  23. 5 out of 5

    J. Michael Dashiell

    The title itself is warm and inviting. There’s plenty of love in this story as well. It begins with Nara who first makes a hard woman, suspicious and threatening, but as the story progresses, she becomes a more empathic and lady-like that she experiences a romantic attraction for Jim. He’s a noble Cheyenne Indian, who later must reveal a grim reality that marriage can’t be fulfilled. The three orphan children from New York arrive by a train and later are found and adopted by the Stewart family. The title itself is warm and inviting. There’s plenty of love in this story as well. It begins with Nara who first makes a hard woman, suspicious and threatening, but as the story progresses, she becomes a more empathic and lady-like that she experiences a romantic attraction for Jim. He’s a noble Cheyenne Indian, who later must reveal a grim reality that marriage can’t be fulfilled. The three orphan children from New York arrive by a train and later are found and adopted by the Stewart family. Papa, a rancher, makes a sound boss and protector; Mama is very kind. The three children with Charles as the oldest, then Patrick, an Irish kid and young Opal who learns to help mama and cook. Charles has already endured a lot, and is charged with releasing the neighbor’s horses, but is innocent. He decides it’s best to leave his family until dear Opal holds his legs to try to keep him there and mama persuades him to stay. Another crisis occurs when Opal escapes her natural and repulsive mother’s attempt to take her away. The little girl gets lost in the vast open country of Montana. As foremost humane, this historical novel of Dianna Rostad makes a rich and engaging read. It shows the importance of family that takes risks in order to keep it loving, safe and together if even a lie or deception is necessary for this cause. It fulfills the purpose that love is more important, the reason all concerned belong with them now.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Terrie Case

    Heartwarming, feel-good story about what it means to be family. Charles, Patrick, and Opal endure poking, prodding and rude comments from prospective adoptive parents during each stop of the Orphan Train. Before the last stop, they change the trajectory of their lives. They decide they would be better off if they jump from the train rather than go back to New York City and the orphanage. Caught trying to steal a horse, Charles tells the Stewart family about Patrick and Opal. Papa and Mama agree t Heartwarming, feel-good story about what it means to be family. Charles, Patrick, and Opal endure poking, prodding and rude comments from prospective adoptive parents during each stop of the Orphan Train. Before the last stop, they change the trajectory of their lives. They decide they would be better off if they jump from the train rather than go back to New York City and the orphanage. Caught trying to steal a horse, Charles tells the Stewart family about Patrick and Opal. Papa and Mama agree to care for the kids, which involves Nara agreeing to do the same. Each of the family members learn about each other, while hiding and slowly disclosing secrets. They make mistakes. They learn. They grow individually and as a family. This give and take is explored throughout the story. I like the characters but felt the author could have shown more about the history of each. It felt very superficial. I didn’t feel that I could connect with them. The story is interesting and enjoyable but did not feel deep enough for me to care. I received an ARC from William Morrow through Goodreads. This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book. I am voluntarily submitting this review and am under no obligation to do so.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Peg

    This is the debut novel for Dianna Rostad. Since I had read The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, I was familiar with orphan trains that took homeless children from the NYC area across the country to find new homes. These children were subjected to tight, and sometime humiliating, scrutiny by people who were looking for various kinds of help. After being selected, many were treated like a free worker and not a member of a loving family. It's 1925 and Charles, Patrick, and Opal were the last This is the debut novel for Dianna Rostad. Since I had read The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, I was familiar with orphan trains that took homeless children from the NYC area across the country to find new homes. These children were subjected to tight, and sometime humiliating, scrutiny by people who were looking for various kinds of help. After being selected, many were treated like a free worker and not a member of a loving family. It's 1925 and Charles, Patrick, and Opal were the last three children on an orphan train nearing Montana. They bravely jumped from the train rather than be overlooked again and have to go back to NYC. They bonded despite their different backgrounds and Charles, being the oldest at 18 but lied that he was 16, took the lead. Eventually they end up at the Stewart farm and, through hard work and lessons learned, experience what family love is all about. There are interesting side stories throughout the novel but I felt that, at times, it was repetitive and it moved slowly in the middle. Overall, a nice debut, but the foul language was not needed. Thanks to LibraryThing for the Uncorrected Proof in exchange for my honest opinion.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    YOU BELONG HERE NOW by Dianna Rostad A great orphan train novel. We follow Charles, 16 who was living on the streets of New York and desperate to escape the city life; Patrick, 14 Irish boy who loves horses and his dictionary; and Opal, 8 very little girl who was abused by her mother, she has deep burn scars on her wrists. The three children jumped off of the moving train, before the last stop in Bull Mountain, Montana, sure that no one would want them, and if they disappeared no one could force t YOU BELONG HERE NOW by Dianna Rostad A great orphan train novel. We follow Charles, 16 who was living on the streets of New York and desperate to escape the city life; Patrick, 14 Irish boy who loves horses and his dictionary; and Opal, 8 very little girl who was abused by her mother, she has deep burn scars on her wrists. The three children jumped off of the moving train, before the last stop in Bull Mountain, Montana, sure that no one would want them, and if they disappeared no one could force them back to New York. They had been hiding out for a few days and Charles tried to steal a horse but was caught by Nara Stewart. The Stewart family: Mama, Papa, and Nara, their 30-year old single daughter. Nara along with their Indian hired man Jim ran Stewart's cattle ranch and decided to let the children stay and work off their debt caused by Charles trying to steal the horse. The children would love a secure place to live, work, and belong. They just may have found that place. Much gratitude to #librarything and #williammorrow for the complimentary copy of #youbelongherenow I was under no obligation to post a review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Maskus

    Dianna Rostad details the life in Montana in 1925. The orphan train that left New York and headed west to give orphans in New York a chance at a different life. Dianna Rostad briefly addresses the plight of these orphans as western farmers looked for strong and healthy farm laborers. Many books have detailed the orphan trains and the horrid life the orphans entered. Rostad bases her story on three children who jump the train before the last stop. These children from diverse backgrounds bond toge Dianna Rostad details the life in Montana in 1925. The orphan train that left New York and headed west to give orphans in New York a chance at a different life. Dianna Rostad briefly addresses the plight of these orphans as western farmers looked for strong and healthy farm laborers. Many books have detailed the orphan trains and the horrid life the orphans entered. Rostad bases her story on three children who jump the train before the last stop. These children from diverse backgrounds bond together and enter a farm and learn about life. Charles an eighteen-year-old running from the law and pretending to be sixteen protects Patrick, a small Irish lad, and Opal a tiny girl covered with burned skin. Rostad deftly describes farm life and the dependence on neighboring farmers. The tale about killing the mustangs due to a lack of grassland perplexed me. So many stories of hardship in Montana surprised me, such as the viciousness of wolves. An interesting story, but not enough detail.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    I have read several books on the orphan trains during WWI/WWII, this one starts out on the train but we quickly get to a ranch in Montana. The storytelling was good, the family that took these ragamuffins in had a heart as big as Yellowstone, especially Mama and Papa and Patrick had a true talent with horses. I came to love all three of them, even Charles. I cannot imagine the heartbreak a child felt during this time when they were paraded on a stage, poked, prodded, criticized and overlooked. I I have read several books on the orphan trains during WWI/WWII, this one starts out on the train but we quickly get to a ranch in Montana. The storytelling was good, the family that took these ragamuffins in had a heart as big as Yellowstone, especially Mama and Papa and Patrick had a true talent with horses. I came to love all three of them, even Charles. I cannot imagine the heartbreak a child felt during this time when they were paraded on a stage, poked, prodded, criticized and overlooked. If the war was not traumatic enough, the loss of a parent, becoming a ward of social services and thrown into a home that most likely would treat you like a free hired hand would be something I cannot even fathom. This story is filled with a lot of love and heart. I highly recommend if you enjoy a good yarn with wild mustangs, a lot of hard work and one dedicated woman who wants to run her family farm. I want to thank William Morrow and Custom House along with NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read an ARC. Coming in with 5*****

  29. 4 out of 5

    Krista Burns

    A beautiful historical fiction debut, 𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝘽𝙚𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙃𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙉𝙤𝙬 by Dianna Rostad is a powerful story about making a family in the most unlikely of circumstances. ⁣⁣⠀ ⁣⁣⠀ Thank you UpLit Reads and Dianna Rostad for my gifted copy in exchange for an honest review. This one publishes today, April 6, 2021.⁣⁣⠀ ⁣⁣⠀ Do you know about the orphan trains of the early 1900s? I'll be honest, I was not aware of this heartbreaking welfare program in US history. This story follows three orphans, Charles, Patrick, and Ol A beautiful historical fiction debut, 𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝘽𝙚𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙃𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙉𝙤𝙬 by Dianna Rostad is a powerful story about making a family in the most unlikely of circumstances. ⁣⁣⠀ ⁣⁣⠀ Thank you UpLit Reads and Dianna Rostad for my gifted copy in exchange for an honest review. This one publishes today, April 6, 2021.⁣⁣⠀ ⁣⁣⠀ Do you know about the orphan trains of the early 1900s? I'll be honest, I was not aware of this heartbreaking welfare program in US history. This story follows three orphans, Charles, Patrick, and Olga, their escape from the train, and the new life they build on a Montana cattle ranch with a broken family. I found myself drawn to every single character in this story. An emotional ride, I cheered for the three orphans, sympathizes with Nara and her family, and fell in love with the overall message this story brings to life. ⁣⁣⠀ ⁣⁣⠀ It was really beautiful to watch how the family and the orphans needed each other to grow. And the unique family they built was just beautiful. ⁣⁣⠀ ⁣⁣⠀

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Schiller

    Three New York City orphans make their way west in search of rescue, but end up rescuing their mirror images in this gorgeous debut by Dianna Rostad. The eldest is Charles, a tough, impulsive street kid who is the mirror image of Nara Stewart, the take-charge daughter of a Montana rancher who initially wants nothing to do with the children. Patrick, the middle child, is stoic and thoughtful, the mirror image of Mr. Stewart, who bears his burdens with quiet stoicism. And lastly there’s Opal, a ch Three New York City orphans make their way west in search of rescue, but end up rescuing their mirror images in this gorgeous debut by Dianna Rostad. The eldest is Charles, a tough, impulsive street kid who is the mirror image of Nara Stewart, the take-charge daughter of a Montana rancher who initially wants nothing to do with the children. Patrick, the middle child, is stoic and thoughtful, the mirror image of Mr. Stewart, who bears his burdens with quiet stoicism. And lastly there’s Opal, a child brimming with emotion and unrequited love, who is the mirror image of Mrs. Stewart, a woman burdened by the pangs of unresolved grief. The six protagonists struggle to form a bond in the wild, untamed Montana landscape while skirting the law, old grievances, and community bigotry. You Belong Here Now is a novel that will tug at your heartstrings and make you rethink the definition of “family” as it brings the fascinating orphan train saga to life. A beautiful and gripping novel.

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