Orphan Train: A Novel

July 18, 2014 - Comment

Orphan Train is a gripping story of friendship and second chances from Christina Baker Kline, author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be. Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the

Orphan Train is a gripping story of friendship and second chances from Christina Baker Kline, author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be.

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

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Comments

Laurel-Rain Snow "Rain" "Rainy Days" says:

POWERFUL TALE OF UPHEAVAL & RESILIENCE On the coast of Maine lives a wealthy ninety-one year old woman named Vivian Daly. Yet in her attic are trunks that reveal the secrets of her turbulent past.It is the year 2011, and nearby in the same town of Spruce Harbor, lives a seventeen-year-old girl named Molly Ayer who has bounced from foster home to foster home, and is now in a situation involving petty theft that will require some kind of community service.Told in beautifully evocative prose, the story unfolds in alternate perspectives, revealing what has happened to each of them, and how the parallel lines of their lives now converge to spotlight the similarities between them.From Vivian’s early childhood in Ireland, to New York City, comes her passage on the Orphan Trains in 1929. A journey that will take her to Minnesota, from one home to another, never really knowing what home feels like, as she is treated like a slave and seldom has enough of anything, much less affection or…

P. Woodland "Broken Teepee" says:

Left Wanting More I continue to be amazed at the things I learn about the history of this country from reading books. Orphan Train is based in fact; from the mid 19th century through the first quarter of the 20th century there was no system for dealing with orphans or what we would consider foster children today. It was left to churches and charitable organizations. And for those who feel that they are best left to deal with these social issues, I suggest you research the orphan trains because their solution was to take the children into various cities and give them away to anyone who wanted a child. No background checks, no follow up, no nothing. These children were left with people in the hopes that they would be given a good life. Some were, many were nothing more than house slaves. I’ll get off the soapbox now.The book juxtaposes two lives – that of young Molly, a foster child of the current generation who lives with a family that is divided as to her presence. The “father” is pleasant…

Red Rock Bookworm says:

LIVES AT THE JUNCTION THE ORPHAN TRAIN is one of those books you don’t want to end. You want it to continue so you can find out even more about the entwined lives of seventeen year old Molly Ayers, Vivian Daly, as well as Jack and his mother Terry Gallant. Eighty two years earlier an unfortunate set of circumstances had placed a nine year old Vivian on the train that would take her from New York City to the plains of Minnesota as one of the more than two hundred thousand children transported to new, and not always better, lives via the Orphan Trains.Now, fate has once again intervened in the lives of both women as at age 91 Vivian meets Molly, the intelligent but somewhat troubled young woman of Indian heritage living with foster parents who appear to be “in it for the money”. As part of a community service assignment, Molly begins to assist Vivian in cleaning out her attic, slowly sorting through the mementos that represent the pieces of Vivian’s life she has kept hidden for all these…

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