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Orphan Train Audiobook
Orphan Train
Written by: 
Christina Baker Kline
Narrated by: 
Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
 >   > 
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 (11611 )
5 star
 (6419)
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4.4 (10294 )
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Story
4.4 (10276 )
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 (117)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jennifer 10-21-15
    Jennifer 10-21-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully written and narrated well!"

    My eleven-years-old son and I listened to this story. We both enjoyed this so much, and I am proud to say it peaked his already healthy interest in history! This book started a whole other adventure in discussions and researching orphan trains!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zach 10-19-15
    Zach 10-19-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A touching story"

    It is a well written novel about a time in history that I knew nothing about before reading this story. Kline does a wonderful job of depicting what it was like for orphans back in the 1920's and 30's as well as the present. It is a great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat 10-18-15
    Pat 10-18-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Orphan Train"

    Loved it. Did take some time to get used to Molly's voice. Not a huge fan of narrator. Did not know about these trains.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    WendyC CAJE Corp 10-18-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Story"

    An easy to follow story read by a compelling, interesting narrator. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rose O'Toole 10-16-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    30
    18
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    Story
    "One of the best books I've ever experienced."

    I loved this book. They story of an orphan in 1929 and a foster teen in 2011 who, through circumstance, become friends. So many great moments and they are all woven into a wonderful, compelling and heartwarming story. I highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nichole Daniel 10-14-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book!"

    Loved this book! I almost felt like it ended to early though! I loved it so much I couldn't believe it when it was over. I do wish it had one more chapter though. I felt like it ended without giving Molly's finished story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane MADISON, WI, United States 10-12-15
    Jane MADISON, WI, United States 10-12-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    131
    28
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Wonderful Book"

    I loved listening to this book. Based on true events, an orphan train taking children to new "families" in Minnesota and further west, this tells the story of 2 people connected by similar stories but generations apart.

    From the first word, this book captured my attention and I couldn't wait to listen to more of it. Two story lines are told together and it works well. I loved both main characters. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer. I didn't want the book to end. Perhaps there will be a sequel.

    I would definitely listen to another book by this author. I was getting bored by the same old stuff I listen to and couldn't find something new and then I listened to this book. Reinvigorating my love of audiobooks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lillian Person 09-29-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    10
    5
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, but beware ...."

    for a few "F" bombs and swear words. They go with the characters, and not overly used, but still a part of the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glen 09-28-15
    Glen 09-28-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "first book of this type"

    i apsolutely loved this story, it was well written and well read, i could keep up with the back and forth between the different decades easily all the way through, i was sad when it ended i wanted to know what happened next, biut it was a great ending

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Horn 09-26-15
    D. Horn 09-26-15 Member Since 2015

    Sangiovese Girl

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very enjoyable!"

    This is an excellent story, well narrated. Interesting characters and character development. Do yourself a favor and read this book!

    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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