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Orphan Train

A Novel

Christina Baker Kline

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

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.

Publishers Weekly Review

Feb 11, 2013 – Kline’s absorbing new novel (after Bird in the Hand) is a heartfelt page-turner about two women finding a sense of home. Seventeen-year-old Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer has spent most of her life in foster care. When she’s caught stealing a copy of Jane Eyre from the library, in an effort to keep the peace with her stressed foster parents, she ends up cleaning out elderly Vivian Daly’s attic. Molly learns that Vivian was herself an orphan, an Irish immigrant in New York who was put on the Orphan Train in the late 1920s and tossed from home to home in Minnesota. The growing connection leads Molly to dig deeper into Vivian’s life, which allows Molly to discover her own potential and helps Vivian rediscover someone she believed had been lost to her forever. Chapters alternate between Vivian’s struggle to find a safe home, both physically and emotionally, in early 20th-century Minnesota, and Molly’s similar struggle in modern-day Maine. Kline lets us live the characters’ experiences vividly through their skin, and even the use of present tense, which could distract, feels suited to this tale. The growth from instinct to conscious understanding to partnership between the two is the foundation for a moving tale.

Customer Reviews

Orphan Train

Okay, well I really, really liked this book but it ended so abruptly I keep thinking that I did not for some reason get the entire download of the book. Maybe someone can confirm that the story ends with Vivian asking Molly about possibly searching for her sister… I still think I did not get end of book!

Eye opening

My husband's aunt was one of those children put on an orphan train to Kansas around 1918 when she and her younger brother were the only ones left in their immigrant family after the 1918 influenza epidemic hit New York City. She was adopted by a farm family in Kansas, she and her brother were separated and never reunited and even though she married, had three children and had a good life, she felt like there was a missing piece in her life. This novel had so many parallels that I wish she was still alive so that I could share it with her. I will share it with her sons.

The Orphan Train is a page turner!

Once I read through the sample I knew I had to purchase the book. This story of two orphaned women, decades apart in ages, was a riveting read that held my attention from the first page to the last.

Orphan Train
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Apr 02, 2013
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings