Orphan Train: A Novel

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Orphan Train: A Novel

by Christina Baker Kline

Harpercollins Publishers | March 25, 2013 | Trade Paperback

Orphan Train: A Novel is rated 4.375 out of 5 by 16.

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 Trainis a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 288 pages, 8.13 × 5.5 × 0.72 in

Published: March 25, 2013

Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0061950726

ISBN - 13: 9780061950728

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great and moving story I could not put this book down! Orphan Train is the powerful stories of Molly and Vivian whos paths cross by fate, or a well-meaning boyfriend, you decide. Molly is an angry teenager who has been dealt a crappy hand at life. Going from one foster home to another, she is not exactly living a normal life. After getting herself into a bit of trouble, Molly is paired with Vivan, a rich 90 year-old woman, who Molly agrees to help clean out her attic for her community service hours. As each story unfolds, we learn about the sometimes harsh world of foster care and the devastating losses young children should never deal with. Through Vivan's heartbreaking and touching story, both Vivan and Molly finds a piece of themselves and uncover a common bond.
Date published: 2015-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from lovely book This was a wonderful book to read, especially when it was based on actual historical facts. I was not aware of the "orphan trains" until I read the book. This book is highly recommended by me.
Date published: 2015-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book I could not put this book down once I started it. The two main characters were so well developed and the story was heart-wrenching! I enjoyed every page and was so sad when I finished it! Also, I liked learning a little history as I devoured the story.
Date published: 2015-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this story I had never heard of the orphan trains, the story and the characters are beautiful. I would recommend the book to family and friends.
Date published: 2015-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Orphan Train I absolutely loved the story line and the main characters of the book! - I had never heard of the "Orphan Train" and it's children...this book inspired me to research more about this real event... I have recommended this book to friends and relatives.
Date published: 2015-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Great Read Loved this story. I was an eye opener for me from an historical perspective. While I could appreciate the choice of language in some parts, given it fit with the setting, I would have appreciated it abit more if the f word wasn't used. So, it would have been a five star had the author chosen not to use different word. It was only a few times, thankfully. The main characters went through such hardship and such sadness. It is a story that had to be told! The character development was so well done and I wished for more chapters...always a good sign. You could feel the emotions so well of each character.
Date published: 2014-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Orphan Train This was the first book I've started reading in a long time that I couldn't put down. I read it in just over a day. There's something about a fictional story based on real events that I find intriguing.
Date published: 2014-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it What an exceptional story. I love both Molly and Vivian. could barely put it down to sleep at night. Got so involved in the story line, the back and forth through time really kept me focused on what was happening. I have since become very interested in the train riders and have started reading articals on the early 1900s when all this was taking place. most interesting.
Date published: 2014-08-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from totally predictable it's good book for 12 year olds.
Date published: 2014-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Orphan Train I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love that it was based on a real event. Those poor orphans, what they went through , just hoping to find loving homes. I love the connection between the rebellious Molly and Vivian. Once again it shows that people are people and can create a bond ,no matter what their age or what their story is. We all have a story.I feel their bond and the plight of Niamh.
Date published: 2014-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful and intriguing story I just can't put this book down when I'm reading it, I have to see what happens to Vivian next. I love this book.
Date published: 2014-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome read! The novel Orphan Train was an excellent read. I loved that it was both historical and modern day. I was really sad when the story finished as it was such an excellent book. Really made you think about life as an abandoned kid both then and now.
Date published: 2014-06-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read, couldn't put it down. This was a great book. Gave me insight into a period of history I was not aware of. I cannot believe orphan children were put on trains in hope of finding a new home/family at each train station. Many of these young children were chosen for farm labour or to work around the house. Not wanted as a child to love, just cheap labour. So very sad. I am definitely recommending this book to friends.
Date published: 2014-05-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compelling I really enjoyed this small treasure of a book. The story is told in two different eras, with more in common than the years would warrant. Molly is a foster child about to age out of the system in modern time. Vivian was an orphan on the train in the 1930s, with a remarkable spirit and will to survive. Their lives intersect in modern time when Vivian is in her 90s. Vivian's ability to relate to Molly and the marvel that is their shared circumstance was really compelling. This was a very sweet read that makes me want to give my grandma (also in her 90s) a big squeeze. Recommended.
Date published: 2014-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating and engrossing The Good Stuff Epic, its been a long time since I read a story like this. These used to be my favorite types of stories. Parallel stories told years apart, characters of different eras face the same prejudice and hardships - human nature never really seems to change. Interesting story based on a little known piece of history Was hooked in right away and didn't want to put it down Heartbreaking and horrific at times because even though this is a fictional story it is based on fact and what some of these children had to go through is truly brutal Loved the conversations between Molly and Vivian and would love to have more of the story Makes me want to research more into the "Orphan Trains" The Not So Good Stuff The storyline that focused on Vivian was far better developed than that of Molly which is a shame. I found the Molly bits to be a bit jumpy I wanted more - this was one of those stories that could have been much longer Favorite Quotes/Passages "Do you believe in fate?" I ask. 'What's that again?" "That everything is decided. You're just - you know - living it out." "God has it all planned in advance." I nod. "I dunno. I don't like the plan much so far." "Me either." "No time," Vivian calls over her shoulder. "I'm old , you know. Could drop dead any minute. We've got to get going." Who Should/Shouldn't Read Great book for a reading at the cottage, on the beach or just about anytime you want to lose yourself in a great story 4 Deweys I received this from William Morrow in exchange for an honest review
Date published: 2013-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly an Amazing Story!! Story Description: HarperCollins Publishers|March 25, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-06-195072-8 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 by 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. My Review: Seventeen-year-old Molly lives with her foster parents, Dina and Ralph in Spruce Harbor, Maine. Dina wasn’t all that excited about having Molly as a foster child as their last one tried to set the school on fire, but husband Ralph wanted her. Having been through the Big Brother’s program as a child himself, he felt he had something to offer Molly. But Molly isn’t surprised Dina didn’t want her because not much ever went right in her life. At school she was an outcast because she dresses goth, that is, until she meets Jack during a school work group. Jack liked her and thought she was “awesome” which made Molly smile. Jack’s mother works for an elderly woman, Vivian Daly who is ninety-one-years-old. She wants someone to help her clean out her attic and Jack’s mother doesn’t want to do it so she offers the opportunity to Molly after Jack convinces her that Molly is trustworthy. Molly takes on the chore as she can complete her fifty hours of community service instead of going to juvenile hall for stealing something and it gives her an excuse to stay with Dina and Ralph. Vivian Daly was only seven-years-old when she came to America from Ireland in 1929 with her family. However, she ended up in the care of the Children’s Aid Society just three years later after losing her family. Shortly after her arrival there, she found herself seated on a train called the “orphan train” which was bound for the countryside and out of the big city of New York. There were hundreds of children on the train with her, all bound for farmland and new families, that is, if any picked them out of the line-up. I felt so very sorry for Vivian when she was living in the Grote household. The deplorable conditions under which she was forced to live were heartbreaking. I cried when I read the passage about something horrible that happened to her in that house. I wanted so badly to reach into the pages of the story, put my arms around her, and rip her out of that situation. Then, being forced to walk so, so far in the dead of winter was totally unacceptable. What cruel and heartless people they were. As Molly and Vivian continue to clean the attic, each box opened brings back another memory and another amazing story from Vivian. It soon becomes apparent that Molly and Vivian’s lives didn’t differ that much from each other despite the seventy-four-year age difference between them. I think they found a kindred spirit in each other. Molly having been in and out of foster homes herself has now found a new friend in Vivian and one who understands what she has been through. The Orphan Train was a phenomenal story that affected me deeply. My heart went out to all the children on the orphan train. I will most definitely be recommending this wonderful masterpiece to all who’ll listen. Orphan Train gets a huge thumbs up from me! Thank you Ms. Kline for a most interesting and intriguing story.
Date published: 2013-04-23

– More About This Product –

Orphan Train: A Novel

by Christina Baker Kline

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 288 pages, 8.13 × 5.5 × 0.72 in

Published: March 25, 2013

Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0061950726

ISBN - 13: 9780061950728

From the Publisher

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 Trainis a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.

About the Author

Christina Baker Kline is the author of five novels. She lives out-side of New York City and on the coast of Maine.

Editorial Reviews

"I was so moved by this book.I loved Molly and Vivian, two brave, difficult, true-hearted women who disrupt one another''s lives in beautiful ways, and loved journeying with them, through heartbreak and stretches of history I''d never known existed, out of loneliness toward family and home."(Marisa de los Santos, New York Times-bestselling author of Belong to Me and Falling Together )