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Orphan Train: A Novel | [Christina Baker Kline]

Orphan Train: A Novel

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.
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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

4.3 (7978 )
5 star
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4.4 (7038 )
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4.4 (7016 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Connie 05-22-15
    Connie 05-22-15 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could not put it down"

    And did not want it to ever end. Great story and excellent performance. I recommend it highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karenyo22 05-21-15
    Karenyo22 05-21-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous"

    If you want to put your own life in perspective this is a great story of human perseverance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andi 05-20-15
    Andi 05-20-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So deceptive!"
    What did you love best about Orphan Train?

    This book, if judged by it's cover, appears that it could be an incredibly sad story and for a short while I was convinced of it. But, at the end of this book I was left uplifted, almost refreshed and reminded that even in a lifetime of bad always comes some good. Lovely book.


    Which character – as performed by Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren – was your favorite?

    Viv. Hands down.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cybrarian 05-20-15
    Cybrarian 05-20-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful Story!"

    This is not Little House on the Prairie, but it is a well told story based on real history. It also reflects the woeful state of the current foster care system, Kline does a great job weaving the stories of the two main characters together, and the narration is well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janis Morgan Sandy, UT United States 05-19-15
    Janis Morgan Sandy, UT United States 05-19-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Touching, heartbreaking, tender"

    Beautifully written. I was unable to put it down. The book speaks anyone who has lost someone or been abandoned or has been given up on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Nash 05-19-15
    Kristi Nash 05-19-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rough first start, but disappointed when ended"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Good story of how times haven't changed when it comes to how orphans and foster children can be treated, both good and bad.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Orphan Train?

    The triumphant resolution of where both characters end up.


    What does Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I didn't know there were two people reading, i thought it was one, doing accents. Interesting. The voice I didn't care for was Molly's... a little annoying, but get she was trying to be obnoxious teenager voice.


    Who was the most memorable character of Orphan Train and why?

    The train orphan, Niamh, Dorothy, and then Vivianne. How she morphed into what she needed to be to survive.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a good book. Def worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Veronica S. Gullo 05-19-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    6
    5
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    Story
    "Close but needed more"

    The writing is good, talented and descriptive - which appeals to me. The narrative was the best pace I've heard so far, I find many narrators to be far to slow and speed them up to 1.5, this one was good at 1.25.

    The people are interesting, with Viv's story dominating the book Id forget what Molly's story was, and it really didn't compare. Viv's story was interesting to a point but had the potential to be so much more.

    While there were similarities in their childhoods because they didn't have parents I didn't think they tied it together as well as it could have been.

    It was almost too true to life, so many opportunities to build on things, was the author afraid? It was almost too 'day in the life' and what about the end? That was an awesome op for a phenomenal ending... but no.

    More to say but I guess they'd be 'unspoilers' ...

    I can think of numerous ideas that would have made this book great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DeeDee 05-17-15
    DeeDee 05-17-15 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    34
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "keeps the attention"

    This book was a pleasure to read. it was interesting historical information and I finished it in just a few days. it's a bit similar to the Jodi Picoult books, an easy read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Fleming California 05-17-15
    S. Fleming California 05-17-15 Member Since 2015

    compulsive reader

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful and absorbing"

    Great from beginning to end. Never disappointed. Characters were well developed. Storyline was riveting I could not stop listening. Satisfying narration

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mm 05-17-15
    mm 05-17-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    4
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    0
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    Story
    "Orphan train"

    Interesting story. Sad to think that so many immigrants went through such a horrendous time in an attempt to settle in this country.

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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