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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 (11915 )
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4.4 (10557 )
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4.4 (10544 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Elise miller 03-25-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good minus language"

    Great story lots of unseen language I loved the twists and turns! And the quiet interactions

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meg 03-24-16
    Meg 03-24-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting Story"

    Fast paced and entertaining. Enjoyed historical moments and references. The story flowed well with realistic descriptions of events.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mika and friends 03-24-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ridiculous Ending"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The ending.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren ?

    More mainstream narrators.


    Any additional comments?

    It felt like the author wanted to put in a sensational gotcha ending. Unfortunately, it made no sense and Vivian's "I was a coward" just did not cut it. Had the book continued and we got true insite into her action, maybe there could have been some saving this book. Was she trying to show that adoption could be wonderful? Who knows?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky Cathey 03-23-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
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    Performance
    Story
    "Orphan Train"

    This story was great. Narration was good. An adult memory of her life in those times. Have listened to this story more then once.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jolie 03-23-16
    Jolie 03-23-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    6
    3
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    Story
    "What a wonderful journey."

    Just a wonderful journey. Hard to listen to at times but how could it not be? Vivian is the picture of grace and resilience and Molly finding a kindred spirit filled my heart with joy. I'm so glad I took a chance on this wonderful story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wandering Hoosier 03-19-16 Member Since 2015

    dog lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    Story
    "Disappointing"

    I expected this book to be very interesting--based on all the high reviews. But I found the characters quite simple and the ending extremely predictable. While I enjoyed learning about the orphan train and it broke my heart to hear about Vivian's childhood, I thought the author's simplistic writing style caused the book to lack depth. Perhaps if I hadn't expected so much from the book, I would have liked it more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Ward 03-19-16
    D. Ward 03-19-16

    dwVA

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    51
    15
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    Story
    "A moving story that makes you think."

    A great story of becoming someone. Orphan Train is a great story of how two people move through the terror and hardship of their young lives to become something else, and become inspirational to another. Very moving story with lots of introspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Bloomington, Minnesota 03-18-16
    Bill Bloomington, Minnesota 03-18-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    14
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    Story
    "Touching, moving, very enjoyable"

    This book was well written, well performed, and I truly truly enjoyed it. I highly recommend that anyone read it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blair Broughton 03-13-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "I adored it. It will move you and change you."

    The performance and story were both fantastic. I can't explain how much I enjoyed both the modern story as well as the historical one. Loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Cadwell Boulder, CO United States 03-12-16
    C. Cadwell Boulder, CO United States 03-12-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    5
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    Story
    "Cliche after cliche..."

    So poorly written I wanted desperately to give up on it, but I was in Africa with no other audiobooks on my device and no access to the internet. So... I kept listening and hoping it would get better. No luck. From the narrator's grating voice to the one-dimensional characters (evil foster mother, uncaring social worker, misunderstood goth teenager) to the abundant use of cliches, the book was a complete waste of time and money. Save your money and choose something else.

    0 of 0 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
  • 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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