'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?

As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she , too, has unanswered questions about the past.

Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances and unexpected friendship.

I loved this book! Maine and Minnesota as settings, a tragic period of history, the comparison of orphans lives then and now. I didn't want to put it down and couldn't wait to get back to it. The author uses Molly, a foster kid as the vehicle to tell Vivian's story. We slip back to 1929-1930's as Vivian shares her story with Molly as they sort through all the boxes in her attic.

A wonderful story of hardship, love and resilience. There is a short history of the orphan trains and pictures at the end of the book. I want to read the other two books by this author, Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be now!

Thanks to Sharon on Goodreads for recommending this book to me!

Peggy Ann

1 comment:

  1. I bought this book shortly after reading The Chaperone, which also dealt with the orphan trains. Haven't read it yet, unfortunately, but it sounds like I'm in for a treat!


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