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Orphan Train Audiobook

Orphan Train: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

Orphan Train is a gripping story of friendship and second chances from Christina Baker Kline, author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be.

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.

©2013 Christina Baker Kline (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“The narrator of Orphan Train, Jessica Almasy, does an incredible read. Listening to Almasy’s rendition of this book - so vivid and emotional - was as much fun as getting swept away by an Oscar-winning movie.” (Parents.com)

"Absorbing...a heartfelt page-turner about two women finding a sense of home.... Kline lets us live the characters’ experiences vividly through their skin.... The growth from instinct to conscious understanding to partnership between the two is the foundation for a moving tale." (Publishers Weekly)

“Kline's vibrant, sophisticated language comes alive with the sparkling talents of narrators Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren. Their finely paced, enthusiastic portrayals of the charming main characters quickly capture the listener.” (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (12135 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Cynthia Cooks Houston, Texas 04-17-16
    Cynthia Cooks Houston, Texas 04-17-16

    Cynthia Briggs

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unlikely Parallels"
    If you could sum up Orphan Train in three words, what would they be?

    Life's intriguing parallels.


    What other book might you compare Orphan Train to and why?

    The Dairy of Mattie Spencer is a good comparison to Orphan Train because both stories were told through reflections/flashbacks of "treasures in the attic."


    Have you listened to any of Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    N/A


    If you could take any character from Orphan Train out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The characters in Orphan Train were well developed and interesting so it's hard to choose. That said, I would take Molly out to dinner so I could ask where her "orphan train" traveled after meeting and learning so much from Vivian.

    All the characters are people I'd enjoy meeting, granted, some just once, but I'd like to meet them in person just the same.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book. We read it for book club. Normally, I'm not at all interested in "teen" books but this one was different because we saw Molly mature and grow through her unlikely association with Vivian. Vivian grounded Molly in the book so it didn't seem so teen-ish to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    boltzster utah 04-15-16
    boltzster utah 04-15-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great premise,great ending"

    What brings Molly and Vivvian together is a great premise. They friendship was the best thing about
    Of the book. I like the whole premise and history of the orphan train but the historical inaccuracies about Vivians journey was hard to listen to. I almost stopped listening just before Molly starts to research information on Vivians life. It caught me and I couldn't put it down. Great ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-13-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent book!"

    I loved this book! Everything about it is great - the story, the narrator, the details (not too many but just enough). I couldn't wait to see how it ended and I loved the ending. even though part of me wanted it to go on forever - to me, that is the sign of a great read and I highly recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mariechen 04-12-16
    Mariechen 04-12-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    8
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    Story
    "My new favourite!"
    Where does Orphan Train rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Fairly close to the top. The story itself was fantastic, and the narrator was almost perfect. I just found Molly's voice quite annoying at the beginning (maybe that was the intention?) and I thought the narrator was rushing a bit in the beginning; but she slowed down a little soon enough.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Every scene where Vivian and Molly interact is a favourite. I could envision it clearly. I loved their relationship; I loved that Vivian was a friend and mentor figure to Molly and I would love to see their relationship make it to the silver screen, actually.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There were times that I would agree or comment or shout during particularly visceral parts of the book - this during my daily commute. So I guess that counts as an extreme reaction of sorts.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish the book were longer. I loved it, but I'm burning to know what happened next!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kayla Erickson 04-07-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
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    Story
    "Wow!"

    This story draws you and stirs your heart. With each passing chapter you fall more in love with the characters. Their past, their hopes, and their fears become your own. Such a wonderful story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KATHLEEN NICHELSON 04-06-16 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    "sorry it ended so soon."

    Very good read/listen. Narrative was great. I would definitely recommend. Loved the ending wanted one more chapter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nataliia 04-05-16
    Nataliia 04-05-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "2 narrators who seemed like one"
    Any additional comments?

    In overall I enjoyed the book. Though I think Molly's story is not as interesting as Vivian's, and there is almost no connection between them that I could see except they both became orphaned as children. The story of first 20 years of Vivian's life is what kept me from giving up on this listen.
    The whole time I was listening to this book I thought narrator is not doing very good job at making different characters to sound differently. After I completed the book it was a big surprise for me to find out there is actually 2 narrators.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-03-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "sweet, sad tale of self-preservation"

    The story was sad, but beautiful. I didn't love the way the narrator told the Irish accented story until well into the story. Her voice grew on me. I downloaded the Kindle book and added the whisper-sync audible version, and ended up listening to the entire story in a single weekend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frapamela 04-02-16
    Frapamela 04-02-16

    R.N. from So Cal

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "moving"

    I really enjoyed this book. it was stirring heartwarming, gut-wrenching. I was a little disappointed when it seemed to end abruptly. And it left me aching to know what happened with the two main characters in the story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robbi United States 04-01-16
    Robbi United States 04-01-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Beautiful story"

    beautiful story, 2 things I didn't like, few curse words that were not needed and didn't inhance the story, I hated the fact that Vivienne abandoned her child. I almost stopped book and still thought that turn of events ruined book. pathetic way to take it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Amelia
    United Kingdom
    3/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely easy read"

    I chose the book as it was on the New York bestseller list. I really enjoyed the way the story developed and especially Niamh/Vivienne's story. I did not particularly enjoy the 2011 part with Molly in it. I had no real interest in her but could see it was part of the setup of the story. It was really hard to read how orphan children were treated and how their lives were so disrupted or aided depending on who took them in. It makes you realise how lucky life is not to have had such experiences in it. I thought the narrative was very good and aided delivery of the story. I would highly recommend it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • ct
    9/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fantastic"

    loved this from start to finish. strong story, strong characters and narrated very well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suzy
    6/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Average slice of history"
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The history - I want to find out more facts on the children who experienced this and inspired the story.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    No it was too fast and dismissive of the story being told. Not completely the fault of the narrator as the writing style is somewhat dismissive too.


    Any additional comments?

    I was really looking forward to reading this but it turned out to be a lightweight, flat novel. Yes, I know it's fiction but still there was a great opportunity to share this hidden slice of social history when orphan children were placed with completely unsuitable families, albeit by authorities with the best of intentions.

    Told from two time periods the story follows the 1920/30 orphan train experiences of Niamh (Irish born immigrant to the US), alongside a modern day foster care child, Molly. Molly is clearing out the loft of Viviene in punishment for a theft and this is how the two time strands link together. I'm fine with this parallel approach but the novel jumped frequently between the two times which I found distracting.

    My biggest issue is the lack of emotion I felt, even when we hear about the terrible hardships Niamh experienced. I think the issue was the child point of view which meant there wasn't much depth to the reflection. The narrative also had a quality to it like someone is telling you a story at a party but it goes on and on without any respite.

    Added to this was the fast paced, almost breathless narration. I tried to slow it down but it didn't work well. The narration was almost dismissive of the events she was telling the reader about.

    In terms of the experiences of these children the novel has raised my interest and I would certainly seek out more on this topic. I did feel that Niamh seemed to have every disaster befall her, which may or may not be realistic. It isn't a bad novel per se, it just could've been done differently which would have increased my enjoyment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Linda
    Birmingham
    1/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly gripping!"

    It is life story told marvellously well via flash backs that link the most unlikely fostered teenagers contemporary issues' spanning eight decades! A page turner without doubt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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