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)
At first I wasn't sure how I felt. But I got used to bring read to and past it so that I could hear and enjoy this book. It got to the point where I couldn't wait to get back to the story
This was a wonderful story, and the narration was perfect. I didn't want to "put it down" and luckily many times I could listen while doing other things. Brilliant!
Disclaimer : Copy for review provided by Audible
Orphan Train is the story of two girls. Separated by time and age, but united by their common struggle to survive and fit into a society in which they are almost complete non-entities. The book alternates between Molly’s story in the present, and Vivian’s reminiscences of the past.
At first glance, it seems they can hardly have anything in common. But as I read on, I realised that though the setting was different, both Molly and Vivian had to deal with remarkably similar issues. The feeling of always being an outsider. The struggle to make themselves heard. The troubles of living with foster parents.
I was really glad that the audiobook had different narrators for the two viewpoints – it really helped to bring the protagonists to life. And Vivian’s narration in particular is really well done. It beautifully conveys the shy little girl, a foreigner in a strange land, shy and levelheaded, trying to make the best of a bad situation.
The author has done a great job interleaving these two stories. And the writing is not overly dramatic. I liked how the words themselves were always understated, leaving us to feel the emotions and highs and lows for ourselves. And though the book has plenty of sadness and tragedy, on the whole it left me feeling happy and warm.
It was a joy to watch the blossoming friendship between a teenager and a 91 year old lady, as they helped each other. And when things do start to improve for Vivian, you can’t help but be so happy. When Molly speaks up in class, I felt like cheering her!
But while the two principal characters were written really well and lifelike, the rest of them are cliches. The foster parents in particular. Both Molly’s and Vivian’s. They are almost caricatures in their stonehearted apathy. Particularly Molly’s foster mom, Diana, seems to have a target painted on her saying “I’m bitchy and annoying, hate me!”.
That’s a small issue though, because the book is so moving in its other aspects. And the great narration. All in all, a sweet little book.
The narrator did a great job and gave vivid portraits of the characters. The story is beautiful, catching and touching.
I really enjoyed the audio book and I would highly recommend it.
Is it possible to unseat Angela's ashes as my favorite audio book ever? Probably not but it's very close. Excellent
This book was fantastic! I laughed, I cried, I was happy, sad, shocked, amazed, frustrated, furious, and in the end, I was thrilled that I experienced this book! With a 3 hour commute everyday I go through a lot of books, but this one was so good I even listened when I wasn't driving. I think this is now my all time fav book!!!
"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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