A gentle story of an orphaned girl in the 1920s, sad but uplifting in conclusion. Would recommend.
I'm an avid listener always searching for another good book and willing to share my thoughts with a pithy review.
This is a story that captures you quickly and holds you closely as you make your way through the parallel lives of two persons. They have a 60+ year age difference and yet their orphan roots cause bonding and curiosity that neither person can deny. The narrators are huge positives. My only regret was that it had to end. Cheers, Ken
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
First off, I have to say that I ALMOST gave up on this wonderful audio book in the beginning, because I found the narration to be way too fast. I checked my Ipod several times to make certain that I hadn't accidentally put it on double time. I even tried slowing it to 1/2 time, but that, too, was unbearable. I think that the narrator was trying to portray the Irish accent, but in my opinion, missed. That part was NOT enjoyable. I could NOT listen with my ear buds at all, which I normally enjoy. But I stuck it out, and began listening with my speakers, and I am glad that I did. The story itself is absolutely wonderful, and as time went on, I grew accustomed to the narration. I love the contrast and the similarity between Molly and Vivian's stories. This is the first story that I have had the privilege to hear about the orphan trains, and it is incredible what the children endured, even more incredible who and what they became in life.
This book is told in the voices of young females. The narrator sounds like Alvin the Chipmunk. I had to quit listening, and when the voice leaves my head, I will try to read it. Right now it seems a little thin.
I was intrigued to learn more about the orphan trains of the early 20th century after reading The Chaperone by Laura Moriarity. The Orphan Train is compelling, though at times heart breaking, as you learn how the older children on these trains were often viewed as free labor vs new members of adopting families. The story centers around a nine year old Irish girl who is shipped from NYC to the midwest in search of a new home after her family is killed in a fire. The story felt a bit forced and certainly was not the quality of Moriarity's tale, but overall it was a good listen - 3.8.
I am waiting patiently for the best book on earth!!
I always read that these families had lived "happily ever after." This story suggest maybe it wasn't true!!
This is a truly heart-touching book. It is a rare author that can bring you to tears in sympathy with created characters.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
What triggered me to read this book was the fact it was based on an almost forgotten period of American history. The Children’s Aid Society moved East Coast orphans by trains to the other states and by the end the Orphan Trains carried orphan to all states except Arizona. It is estimated somewhere between 105,000 to 200,000 orphans were transported from 1854 to 1929. These children were either placed in homes or as workers with little or no investigation or supervision of the homes or business. Kline weaves her two fictional characters into a historical situation. Kline employs a dual narrative format as she takes us from contemporary Maine to Minnesota in the midst of the depression and war. Molly Ayer a Penobscot youth is 17 years of age and months away from being aged out of the foster care system. Over the past nine years she had been in over a dozen foster homes. Molly stole a book “Jane Eyre” from the library and is assigned to do 50 hours of community service. She is to help Vivian Daly an elderly wealthy widow to clean her attic. During the cleaning process Vivian reveals to Molly about being an Irish immigrant orphan and was on the New York City to Minnesota Orphan train. Vivian and Molly have connected because of both of them are orphans. Vivian tells of going from family to family under hardship, hatred, abuse. Everything stripped from her including her Irish name. Molly’s history teacher assigns the class an oral history project and they are to interview someone. Molly decided to interview Vivian and write her story. Her teacher is impressed with her report and nominates her for a national award and scholarship. As the story end Vivian has learned to use the computer with Molly’s help and is tracking down the other riders from her train car. The author does a good job of trying up the story at the end. Jessica Almasy does a good job narrating the book.
At the beginning of this story I started to expect a story about a troubled teen who we all grow to love, etc, etc, but that not this story. Foster teen Molly is performing community-service work for elderly widow Vivian, and as they go through Vivian’s cluttered attic, they discover that their lives have much in common.
Vivian’s story is a desperate existence with many challenges, and as we are told her story, there are bits of Molly’s present-day story mixed in. While Molly’s suffering pale in comparison to Vivian, you begin to feel strongly for both characters.
There were times in this story where I didn’t want to listen, even a couple of times where I jumped ahead because I couldn’t listen to the graphic details of certain events, some make me uncomfortable to think about even now. These women are resilient and they preserver regardless of the obstacles.
Narrator was engaging from the first page and having the two made the story even better! Excellent listen!