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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 (12148 )
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4.4 (10747 )
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Performance
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  •  
    jessie 02-12-16
    jessie 02-12-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Like a lifetime movie"

    I wish I didn't read this book. What a horrible story that made me cry and feel like crap. I had to keep turning it off and listening to the ending in small doses. It's a real bad feeling story. Spoiler.

    With a 10 year old molestation and a widow giving up her baby for adoption because she's selfish. Ugh. Dumb dumb dumb. Would not recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Bell 02-10-16
    Thomas Bell 02-10-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent read"

    I can't believe I've waited almost a year, since this book was first recommended to me, to read it. Not only
    Is it a rich, full, story, but I like novels with historical backing, a glimpse into a part of life you don't normally read about. (Midwest, early-mid-century)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 02-06-16
    Rebecca 02-06-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A treat!"

    I loved this story of gutsy women who lived through adversity and heartbreak. the performance was good and the story was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Hohn 02-05-16
    Susan Hohn 02-05-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent read"

    Fascinating story about some little known history! I have a newfound respect for those depicted in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate 02-04-16
    Kate 02-04-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great narrator"

    Great book read by a fantastic narrator.
    I really enjoyed the way she changed her voice for each character. It was actually believable and not a character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mom2girls 02-04-16
    Mom2girls 02-04-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic!"

    Such a fantastic story with as many ups and downs as a person can handle!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kimberlyCafe 02-03-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    20
    11
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wow! This is a deep and reflecting novel
    "

    This novel covers history and several lives that are parralel to each other and reminds us that things happen for a reason!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lora 02-02-16
    Lora 02-02-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding!"
    Where does Orphan Train rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best! Very pleasant to listen to and great story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way the author wove the two lives together


    What about Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren ’s performance did you like?

    They were very animated, yet they were very easy on the ears.


    If you could rename Orphan Train, what would you call it?

    I like the name as it is.


    Any additional comments?

    Thoroughly enjoyed this story - my road trips are sometimes spaced a few months apart, but this book was easy to jump back into each time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gift Card Recipient Grand Rapids, Michigan 02-02-16
    Gift Card Recipient Grand Rapids, Michigan 02-02-16 Member Since 2015

    L. Morgan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    12
    6
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    Story
    "Take a Journey"

    This book had me hooked from the first chapter it is very well written with descriptions that bring each page to life. The narrator does an excellent job of voicing the characters and expressing emotions. I cried laughed and held my breath in anticipation throughout the book as it took me through a journey I could never have imagined on my own. The end of the book will leave you wanting more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shan 02-01-16
    Shan 02-01-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful story with great narration"

    Beautiful story! Switching plot lines with a wonderful narrative of it all. The tale that unfolds is worth the listen and very enjoyable.

    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
  • 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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