Sunday, November 20, 2016

Review - Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline



Book Summary


Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train is an unforgettable story of friendship and second chances that highlights a little-known but historically significant movement in America’s past—and it includes a special PS section for book clubs featuring insights, interviews, and more.
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 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.

My Review 4 stars

Orphan Train is our book club choice this month and we will be discussing tomorrow.  My book club has really helped me step out of my comfort zone, usually going for historical reads.  At least this year was better, last year was the worst reading year I had ever had.  I really enjoyed this one, some beautiful amazing moments throughout the book.

This definitely was the book about 2nd chances with friendships and family.

What an emotional start to the book, to see so many children become orphans and to be loaded on a train to find new homes, completely the unknown.  Niamh is an Irish name and becomes Dorothy to be more american by one family and eventually becomes Vivian.

So I am learning to pretend, to smile and nod, to display empathy I do not feel.  I am learning to pass, to look like everyone else, even though I feel broke inside.  Kindle 36%

The book goes between Vivian's time as an Orphan during the early 1930's and Molly during 2011. Their lives were more alike than anyone would have thought. Molly is also an orphan that has got into some trouble and is helping Vivian for some charity hours.  During this time, they are the best thing that happened to each other.

Questions that came up that allowed the reader to think about.  What did you choose to take with you? What did you leave behind?  What insights did you gain?  What I loved was that even the families that were not protective or should not have been given orphan parental rights allowed Dorothy/Vivian to keep her necklace family heirloom.

Molly loved research without realizing she was bringing the modern world to Vivian, allowing her to cherish memories of her life and at 91 years old, begins enjoying Facebook and ordering a laptop to read more stories of other orphans which were also on the same Orphan Train as her.

I really enjoyed the way the historical parts of this book was told.  Molly interviewed Vivian for a homework assignment and took us on a journey that had the most heart warming parts you just had to love.  The general feeling is that it's best not to talk about the past, that the quickest relief will come in forgetting.  Kindle 10%  Orphan Train showed us the importance of memories and being grateful sometimes for the heartache and pain to cherish the moment you are in now.





13 comments:

  1. I've heard a lot of good things about this book but haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm glad your book club is working out better for you this year.

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    1. Thanks Kathy, goodness, remember my complaints. I have completed all of their choices and even got them to read a thriller so I am pleased.

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  2. I've read lots of reviews of this book. I like the mix of a personal story and the history of the period.

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    1. That is what makes this one a winner to me Mystica.

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  3. I've never belonged to a book club but can see the benefits of being forced to read outside your comfort zone a little!

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    1. Deb, I wish it was a little more of a mix, they love historical. I would say searching for books I think they will like but I will still enjoy has been great overall.

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  4. Oo this one sounds great! I just love thrillers. Have fun with your book club and I'm glad this year is better for you. :D

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    1. Last year was so bad I considered quitting. It is my choice this month and I have them reading Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris, HA, some will hate it for sure.

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  5. I've seen this one around and wondered about it. Maybe I'll suggest my book club read it. Yay for getting out of your comfort zone.

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    1. It was great discussion around if we thought it could still happen in the US etc which included election discussion also.

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  6. Yeah to a bookclub that gets you out of your comfort zone. I push myself to do just that all the time, and wish that I had a book club near by to help. I have had this sitting on my shelf since pretty close to when it first came out.

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    1. It is worth the read. I love the way it was told, learning the history but adding the modern day to join the past to the future.

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  7. I enjoyed this one, too. I find the subject of the orphan trains so fascinating!

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