Thursday, May 19, 2016

Orphan Train; Christina Baker Kline

Orphan Train; Christina Baker Kline
William Morrow - 2013

Molly Ayer has been in over a dozen foster homes in just 17 years of life. She's been though plenty and despite her tough exterior of piercings, wildly colored hair and tattoos, she's a wounded child inside.  When she takes a tattered copy of Jane Eyre from the library, she's required to do community service for the offense.  Her service assignment is to help out 91 year old Vivian Daley, a wealthy widow who also lives in Maine.

As Vivian's story unfolds, it's clear that she did not always have an easy life.  As a child, Vivian was an Irish immigrant who traveled with hundreds of other orphans by train from NYC to the midwest. As it would turn out, the fates of these children were mostly determined by luck.

The story is told in dual narratives and, the characters come to life on the pages.  I loved how the relationship between the two characters develops as they sort through boxes of keepsakes from the past. It was touching to see how Molly and Vivian had much they in common than one would expect despite a 70+ year difference in their ages. A moving story that was well written. This would make a good discussion book. The audio narrated by Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren.

4.5/5 stars
(library audio)

13 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this one, too. I was worried it was going to be another one of those "over-hyped book club" novels, but I was pleasantly surprised. Glad you enjoyed it, as well.

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  2. Everyone loves this book - I need to get to it!

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  3. My high school friends recently discussed this one at their book club and everyone seemed to like it. Hopefully I'll get to it sometime...sigh.

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  4. I enjoyed this one too. Thanks for your great review.

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  5. I've had this on my kindle for ages! One of these days...

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  6. I agree. A good orphan story with excellent characters.

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  7. Those two sound like great characters!

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  8. Orphan Train was a book group read.... loved it. Hugs, Bonnie

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  9. I have heard lots of good things about this since it came out. Just haven't had a chance to read it myself. Hopefully soon!

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  10. This is one of those books I won't forget. Good story.

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  11. An excellent story although it broke my hear.

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  12. Oh, I really enjoyed this novel! Read it last year for my library's discussion (you are right - it was a good one to discuss). Like you, I loved how the two stories gradually came together & the relationship between the main characters. Glad you liked it, too!

    Sue

    Book By Book

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