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.
“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)
I would listen again really enjoyed the story and felt for the lonliness of the children in this story
There were many but I liked the parrell of the two charactersl.
SLIGHT SPOILERS, but nothing a blind man couldn't see coming....
If I sat down and listed the cliches and stereotypes that the author uses, I might be here all day, but if you like books with:
-bitter teens in foster care who have been failed by the system
-drunken Native Americans and Irishmen
-foster parents who care only about the money they get for fostering
-pervy, gross adoptive dads
-wicked step/adoptive mothers
-wealthy old white women with secrets
Then this is the story for you! Honestly, it was terrible. Was everyone else reading another book? I have read other fiction that had the orphan trains as a central detail and found them interesting and entertaining. This book was neither. It feels like a rambling, painful story written by a 9th grader who thinks that all their ideas are SO original and that no other teen on earth feels like they do. The narration doesn't help the unlikable "present day" character sound anything more than whiny and ungrateful and angry at the world.
I gagged my way through it, but do yourself a favor and skip this one.
I thought the performance was wonderful! My preference with this book would be audio.
I giggled out loud when Vivian interviewed Molly and asked her how she does her hair and what her natural color is. When Molly answers, "brown"; Vivian states her natural color is "red" (She is now 90 years old and her hair is grey) Also, it amazed me how people could TAKE the only thing these children had left - their name, and then not give the child their surname. These are just a few - the entire book is memorable. Perhaps the most memorable though is when Vivian has her baby. I will not spoil it - but the cladaugh and circle of life comes into play here for a twist that was unexpected.
If I have to choose a favorite, it would be Young Neave and Vivian.
It is titled perfectly
Loved this book!
I would definitely READ another book by Kline. I would not likely ever listen to a book narrated by Almasy or Toren again. As another reviewer wrote, it is difficult to tell whose voice is narrating, but both are very high-pitched and I found it extremely grating.
I would recommend the book, as I think it has a moving story and well-developed characters. I think the narration ruined this novel for me, which is unfortunate.
I believe an audiobook can either make you love a book even more (Colin Firth's narration of The End of the Affair by Graham Greene) or take away from the essence of the novel. Although the characters in this book were portrayed as young females, the choice of narrators was horrible. They did not mesh well at all, and the net effect was to detract from the quality of the book.
I do not normally take the time to write a review...usually, I use the rating system and go on my way. This book, however, with all its high ratings, forced me to step out of the box and write something. I read a number of mostly glowing reviews before buying this title, and as it's a book club selection for the group I'm in I went with it. I should have paid closer attention to the reviews that focused on the "chipmunk" quality of the narrators. Even listening to a sample doesn't prepare you for eight hours of it. If you have the time, I strongly recommend reading this book instead of listening to it.
Suzanne Toren was flawless in her narration. It was absolutely beautiful. Jessica Almasy, however, would emphasize weird words in the sentences. It was as though she hadn't read the book before. Or hadn't read the sentence in her mind before saying it aloud. For example, one sentence read "They piled ONE... upon another in a stack" and "she had not KNOWN... the markings would be ETCHED so deep." It's weird. Her voice was fine.... but the emphasis thing would have driven me crazy if there weren't a break in narrators every other chapter.
This book made me FEEL. I got so wrapped up in the characters, and felt a kindred spirit with them. I don't usually identify so much with a book on that level. It was a beautiful and moving story. And I feel like it is an IMPORTANT story, a forgotten page in our history. And it is very relevant today. It made me think about out foster care system, and it really made me care.I do wish that someone would have mentioned in a review that there is one chapter in the book where a child is molested. It made me physically ill. It was important to the story, but be prepared for that. One reviewer said this story can be listened to by the whole family, which is wholly inaccurate. There is definitely some language and the chapter with sexual abuse.That being said, this book is still uplifting. It offers a message of hope, and it is absolutely worth the read. I went online to research what the facts were after reading this book, and, as one other reviewer put it, it seems more historical than fiction. I'm surprised that this piece of history has fallen through the cracks.
How well the author was able to tell a believable story during WW II I was alway hoping that there would be a happy ending but also knowing that there might not be one
The Book Thief. Both authors are able to take a time period and create "fiction" characters where you belive that they are true stories
This book made me want to learn more about what happened to these children during these times
The story of Vivian and Molly and how their lives ultimately intersect is beautifully written with vivid language. The author pieced together such a credible tale that I found myself wanting to jump into traffic just so I could resume reading during my commute. The narrators, likewise, do an amazing job of the numerous characters' voices in the story. For such a brief story, ~8 hours, is certainly is one that will remain with me always.
YES! I couldn't get enough of this story.
This book is wonderful. It is rich history of something I never knew existed. The characters are vivid and addicting. This is a story that will have you experiencing a range of emotions with the characters as you travel through the life of a 91 year old woman and all she has to offer. I'm so sad that I have finished the book!!
The history and the journey of the characters...
They bring a closeness and a breath of life to the characters that I couldn't add on my own.
The most dramatic moment for me was the moment Vivian gave up the baby.. The desperation she felt!
The movie is good but as the book is better, much better. The details that the moive doesn't have time to go into are so enjoyable to the full feeling of the times and the people who lived those stories. I enjoyed every minute of the book and highly recommend it.
"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.
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