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)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
"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.
"Average slice of history"
The history - I want to find out more facts on the children who experienced this and inspired 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.
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.
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.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.