Orphan Train: A Novel

By Christina Baker Kline
Publisher:William Morrow Paperbacks, (4/2/2013)

Average Rating:
Very Unleashable
4.67 out of 5 (3 Clubie's ratings)

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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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Harriet's thoughts on "Orphan Train: A Novel"
updated on:2/3/2015

Very Unleashable

Karin P's thoughts on "Orphan Train: A Novel"
updated on:10/14/2013


Silver's Reviews's thoughts on "Orphan Train: A Novel"
updated on:5/2/2013

Two women from different eras but with similar life stories.  How will that friendship progress?  

You will be mesmerized by this book that is based on a true part of American history.  ORPHAN TRAIN has magnificent detail and a wonderful storyline.  I was pulled in within five pages. The two alternating time periods telling about the lives of Vivian and Molly is beautifully told. They are two appealing and well-developed characters that you want to know more about and won't be disappointed in what you find.

This book addresses the life of orphans who arrived in the Midwest in the late 1920's on the orphan train that originated in New York and how they are treated as second class citizens by most of the adopted families.  It is told with enthusiasm and genuine compassion along with the detailing of feelings. 

You will feel the despair and helplessness of "Dorothy" as she moves from one household to another with the second one being worse than the first. The beautiful prose carries you along.  It makes you think about what is important in life and what you should keep with you and what you should leave behind and let go.

This book will pull at your heart strings and keep you up because you won't want to stop reading.  It brings two generations together each with good and bad memories to share.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a part of history I wasn’t aware of and with the added bonus of  Ms. Kline's incredible writing style. 

Don’t miss this splendid book.  You will fall in love with both main characters and wish you could be there with them as you learn about a not-often discussed part of American history. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.


"Orphan Train: A Novel"
By Christina Baker Kline

Average Rating:
Very Unleashable
4.67 out of 5 (3 Clubie's ratings)

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Christina Baker Kline is the author of three novels, The Way Life Should BeDesire Lines, and Sweet Water, and is Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University. She lives outside of New York City with her family.

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