What I’m Reading: Orphan Train

I recently finished listening to the the audio book Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline.

I’ve said before that I am intrigued by historical fiction so when I saw this book, I quickly downloaded it.  If you like historical fiction, especially about the orphan train, you won’t be disappointed.

The novel parallels the lives of 90 some year old Vivian Daly and Molly Ayer.  Molly is a victum of the current day foster system and Vivian was the a child who road the orphan train to Minnesota as a child.  Each feel their lives are missing someone or something.  Each have found themselves in a place where loving another is hard.

Molly steals a library and is sentenced to community service.  As part of that service she helps Vivian clean her attic.  As they clean, Vivian’s story of riding the Orphan Train from New York City is relieved.

The ending of the book is a little hurried but not in a way that makes it a bad book.  In fact, the book comes to a place that a sequel could almost be written.  Even though I finished the book, I have found myself wondering, what happened to Molly..what happened to Vivian-but not in an incomplete way, but in a good way that made me feel connected to the characters.

I checked on Amazon and of the 324 people who have reviewed it, the book has 4.5 stars.  I was glad to see that there are more books by her-unfortunately not historical fiction but books I would consider nonetheless.

If you are looking of the book, you can find it in Kindle, audio or book form here on Amazon  Orphan Train: A Novel.

On a similar note, when our kids were elementary age I often read books to them.  One series we loved was A Family Apart (Orphan Train Adventures).   It is a seven book series.

These are juvenile fiction books.  It tells about a family that was shipped out and placed in different homes.  The series continues by telling each child’s own story with one of the boys becoming a drummer boy.  They were books that both my boys and my girls liked.  If you are looking for a good book to read to a someone special in your life, you might want to check out that series too.  I loved reading them not just for the kids but for me too.

6 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: Orphan Train”

  1. I just finished this book myself and really enjoyed it. Another book I recently read is “The Lost Wife” by Alyson Richman… another good one!

  2. There’s another Orphan Train in history. From Austria in 1938-1939 heading to England, the Jews sent their children away from the approaching war. I read a book about three sisters, one was a pianist and eventually was accepted at a music school in London. It was really good.

  3. I am reading the Orphan Train now. The author came to a bookstore in my town so that was interesting to meet her and how she did her research in writing this book. Enjoy reading your blog.

  4. Nancy Angerer

    A friend of our family was one of those orphans. He was originally from Canada but ended up in IL. The 1st family just wanted an unpaid field hand and mistreated him. The 2nd family treated him as family, and he kept in touch with them. He eventually became a teacher in the Chicago suburbs where my father also taught.

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