Orphan Train

Orphan TrainOrphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love books that just suck you in from the first page to the last. I was so enthralled with this story that I didn’t put it down til I was finished reading it. I absolutely loved it! I felt like I was just another person sitting with Vivian and Molly, drinking tea, and listening to their stories. They seem like an unlikely pair for being friends with Vivian being 91 and Molly only 17 but they have a lot in common. They both were abandoned by their parents and were moved from home to home. Vivian traveled the Orphan Train back in the early 1900’s and Molly is a foster child. The story had some parts that made me cry both happy and sad tears. This is a must read book if you’re looking for an adventure back into the past.

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Book Summary:
The author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be delivers her most ambitious and powerful novel to date: a captivating story of two very different women who build an unexpected friendship: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever thought to ask.

Nearly eighteen, Molly Ayer knows she has one last chance. Just months from “aging out” of the child welfare system, and close to being kicked out of her foster home, a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvie and worse.

Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers 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.

The closer Molly grows to Vivian, the more she discovers parallels to her own life. A Penobscot Indian, she, too, is an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. As her emotional barriers begin to crumble, 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 is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are

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