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Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker…

Orphan Train: A Novel (original 2013; edition 2013)

by Christina Baker Kline

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,8723861,898 (3.99)1 / 221
Title:Orphan Train: A Novel
Authors:Christina Baker Kline
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2013), Edition: 0, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (2013)

  1. 41
    Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Another good read showcasing a small bit of American history
  2. 20
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Isolated old ladies benefit by telling their stories to younger women.
  3. 10
    The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (tangledthread)
    tangledthread: Similar story of a young woman aging out of the foster care system.
  4. 11
    My Notorious Life by Kate Manning (Anonymous user)
  5. 12
    Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult (JenniferMCampbell)

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English (378)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (386)
Showing 1-5 of 378 (next | show all)
This book alternates between the story of an immigrant girl in the late 1920s who loses her family and is sent to the midwest with hundreds of other orphans for adoption, and the modern day story of a teenage girl in foster care. I liked the story in general but it felt very short. Just as I was getting to know the characters, the book was over. It's a decent enough read; just don't expect to get too attached. ( )
  melydia | Oct 7, 2018 |
As you begin this book, you are starting off with Molly in 2011, who is in foster care. It's a disagreeable situation for her. She gets into minor trouble and has to do some community service hours.

Through her boyfriend Jack's mom Terry, Molly gets a "job" helping to clean Terry's elderly boss' attic.

Niamh joins the story in 1929, she tells the story of riding the orphan train to Minnesota, from New York City.

Niamh gets placed in several different homes, at no fault of her own. She longs for love and kindness and to once again meet up with "Dutchy" real name Hans, whom she met on the trains.

They get placed in very different places. Dutchy knows that all he is, is a labor force. He hopes Niamh gets placed in a nice place where she doesn't have to work all the time.

As Niamh gets placed in different places, each mother figure renames her. She doesn't mind, she doesn't feel close to any of these people.

After several bad "home" environments, she is placed with the Nielsen's who have lost their young daughter years ago. Niamh learns to love the Nielsen's and will do anything they ask. They ask if they can call her Victoria, the name of their beloved daughter. Niamh consents.

Victoria is letting Molly help her "clean" her attic, mostly she just wants to go through every box, and relive the memories held in each one.

Victoria and Molly have a similar beginnings in their lives. Molly learns to respect and even love Victoria.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. ( )
  HuberK | Oct 4, 2018 |
Wow. I understand now why this book was selected for my book club this month.

Christina Baker Kline makes sure that you feel something for Molly and Vivian. Even though the two women are ages apart, they both understand what it feels like to be unwanted and misunderstood. They know what it's like to be bounced around from home to home with no sense of belonging and no idea how long your stay will last.

The transitions from past to present day was well-done. Vivian had a very difficult childhood full of sadness. Hearing Vivian's story allows Molly to open up about her own past. Molly no longer sees her as an old woman but sees her as a person with a harsh past of her own.

I would strongly recommend this book to everyone, especially book clubs. ( )
  caslater83 | Sep 20, 2018 |
1929 - orphans sent from New York to midwest by train - story of Niamh and the families she ends up with - and Dutchy who she miraculously finds again years later. I enjoyed reading this .. on a train. ( )
  siri51 | Jul 21, 2018 |
This was an enjoyable enough easy read. ( )
  CSKteach | Jul 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 378 (next | show all)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and believe that the plot was complicated enough to be intriguing but simple enough to remain understandable and easy to follow. I would recommend this book to a young adult but not to an adult or friend. While reading, I found the story to be mainly one sided, talking and focusing almost entirely on Niamh (Vivien) and it made the other characters feel shallow and not very complex – flat. Overall, I did like the book, especially the historical aspect and events in Niamh’s everyday life and I would definitely recommend to a young adult reader who wanted a strong heroine or who might be a history buff.
added by hannahmariebell | editMSU AdolLit, Hannah Bell (Sep 7, 1993)
This book was very good i think. It kept things historically accurate while also an interesting story.
added by m.marie.g | editMSU AdolLit, Michelle Green
I enjoyed this book and thought that it did an excellent job with keeping the historical accuracy correct while having an exciting and unpredictable story.
added by m.marie.g | editMSU AdolLit, Michelle Green

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christina Baker Klineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Almasy, JessicaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fröhlich, AnneÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guerrero, JavierTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jansen, JanineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kerner, Jamie LynnInterior Designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Metaal, CarolienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sævold, Ann-MagrittOvers.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thieme, Britt-Mariesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toren, SuzanneReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In portaging from one river to another, Wabanakis had to carry their canoes and all other possessions. Everyone knew the value of traveling light and understood that it required leaving some things behind. Nothing encumbered movement more than fear, which was often the most difficult burden to surrender.
-Bunny McBride, Women of the Dawn
Christina Looper Baker,
who handed me the thread,
and Carole Robertson Kline,
who gave me the cloth.
First words
I believe in ghosts.
Through her bedroom wall Molly can hear her foster parents talking about her in the living room, just beyond her door.
"...you can't find peace until you find all the pieces."
– I learned long ago that loss is not only probable but inevitable. I know what it means to lose everything, to let go of one life and find another. And now I feel, with a strange, deep certainty, that it must be my lot in life to be taught that lesson over and over again.
Her hand flutters to her clavicle, to the silver chain around her neck, the Claddagh charm – those tiny hands clasping a crowned heart: love, loyalty, friendship – a never-ending path that leads away from home and circles back.
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"Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to 'aging out' out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns 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. 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. Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are."--from publisher's description… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (3.99)
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