Friday, 27 August 2021

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline


Format: 278 pages, Paperback

Published: April 2, 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks

Historical fiction /Fiction


It takes place in the early 1930s and 2011. Vivian becomes an orphan and is sent on an orphan train. Just shipped off to anyone who says yes. Horrible, as she goes from bad to worse. Before she finally finds a home.

In 2011 Molly meets Vivian. Molly is another orphan who gets community service and is sent to help Vivian sort through her attic. And soon Molly sees that they are not that different.

I liked Vivian's story. It was sad and I kept hoping she would find a home. Molly was harder to like because she had edges. From being sent from family to family, just like Vivian in fact.

Interesting book and it shows friendship can grow anywhere.

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.


  1. Its been years since I read this but it still resonates. Thanks for taking me back

  2. Too sad for me but I love a good friendship story.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  3. What a sad situation. How did someone come up with the bright idea of sending these kids on a train to offer up to any random person? Boggles the mind.

    1. It was crazy. Just pack orphans on a train and parade them at every stop and some get picked up as free labor

  4. I see this book around from time to time, always made me wonder about it.

  5. I listened to this way back. It was a moving story. I didn't really know of such things until I listened to this one.

  6. Wow, that sounds sad. I haven't read this one.

  7. What an emotionally intense story. I can see why the past story captivated you.

    1. The past is always the best one in every book it seems

  8. It does sound like an interesting story. Wonderful review.

    Melanie @ Books of My Heart

  9. Huh... not my normal thing, but sounds interesting. I bet I'd enjoy a movie adaptation.

  10. What a horrible situation!


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