Orphan Train

By: Christina Baker Kline
Location: FIC KLI
Genre: Family- or lack of it!

NewYork Times Best Seller:

I read Angela's Ashes- a story of hideous childhood poverty in Ireland, it was a book designed to wrench your guts out and buy any kid a pair of shoes that you saw down town that had none on!
I get the feeling this one is going to do the same- hope it is not as bad as Bridge across my Sorrows  that was a tissue box grabber and far to much liquid escaping my face!
But I think this book has more connection with Tomorrow their will be Apricots than any others. Both are about a relationship between  two woman who hurt, whose pasts have scarred them and together they journey for mutual healing and hope.

Vivian, has survived almost unimaginable losses over her life. Orphaned at age nine, she is given over to the Children's Aid Society in New York, and sent to the Midwest on a train with other orphaned and abandoned children, with the intention of finding adoptive families for them. What follows for Vivian is a less-than-perfect childhood, and an eventual life with a caring, but distant, couple.

Her life story is related as a flashback, told to a seventeen-year-old girl, Molly, who is helping Vivian clean out her attic as part of community service hours to avoid detention for having stolen a book from the library. Come on- at least she uses the library!
 Molly has spent many years in foster care, and the two women find in each other a kindred spirit of both loss and survival. As they work together in the attic, they each share parts of their story that have never been told before, and develop a trust and affection that only comes from shared understanding.
While much of this book is tragic, it is impossible to deny the joy and admiration felt for both Vivian and Molly as they draw upon each other's strength and experience.  The book has its roots in actual events: orphan trains were a reality for thousands of children in America for over 50 years.   This is about how experiences can result in a resilience that only comes from adversity greater than most of us will ever know.  Claire- Goodreads.com


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