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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 (12171 )
5 star
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4.4 (10777 )
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Story
4.4 (10767 )
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2 star
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1 star
 (121)
Performance
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  •  
    CDRoyall Orange County, CA United States 11-13-15
    CDRoyall Orange County, CA United States 11-13-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great story."

    loved the story....narrator... not so much. her voice was a little grating and whiny. maybe it won't bother others. wish I had read the book instead of listening. but the storyline was awesome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacey LAKE ELSINORE, CA, United States 11-12-15
    Stacey LAKE ELSINORE, CA, United States 11-12-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    47
    8
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heartwarming story"

    This is a feel good book. it is always entertaining to hear stories of later generations. The narrator did a wonderful job representing the various ages of characters in the storyline.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosalie 11-12-15
    Rosalie 11-12-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I would recommend"

    Enjoyed listening to this book. Going to check out if any other fiction/-non fiction books about the "Orphan Train"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krysclie 11-12-15
    Krysclie 11-12-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "An adequate performance with an awful book"
    What would have made Orphan Train better?

    This book is just awful. It is boring, predictable, preachy, dogmatic and Disneyesque. It relies heavily on one-dimensional characters with, at times, offensive stereotypes to propel a plot that was telegraphed from the first few paragraphs.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Anything but this book.


    What three words best describe Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren ’s performance?

    A valiant effort, given the material they had to work with.


    What character would you cut from Orphan Train?

    Um, all of them. There is not one redeemable or interestingly nuanced character in this entire book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jackmirtexas 11-10-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    28
    19
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    Story
    "A wonderful feel-good l historical fiction"
    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The backdrop of the not-to-known-about orphan train service was intriguing. If you love a novel that connects past to present, this is for you. Although I can't imagine making the same decisions the main character made, the end came full-circle. I usually love mysteries in this time period, which caused me some reluctance is reading this one, but I'm glad I did. This kept me listening from page to page. No slowness. No dullness. No overly expressive and flowery narrative. She tells a great story with the perfect depth and timing needed. Good read!

    The only reason I gave narrator 3 stars was bc she didn't offer distinguishable male voices for the various male characters. They all sounded the same, more or less. This is no way affected the story though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie 11-07-15
    Stephanie 11-07-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing!!!"

    This was a truly amazing story. If you are a foster parent adoptive parent or child this story will inspire you and give you hope for a happily ever after. From the history of the orphan trains to the modern day look at the feelings and fears of a child in the foster system I was rivited I listened straight through once I turned it on I couldn't turn it off. Read and enjoy!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa 11-07-15
    Melissa 11-07-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "book hangover"

    this book has been on my list to read for several months. I wish I hadn't waited so long. I am going to have trouble choosing my next book. I'm afraid it won't be as good as this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 11-05-15
    Jennifer 11-05-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    31
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "A beautiful story"

    Orphan Train was written and performed beautifully. A touching and heart warming story that all can enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    amanda 11-03-15
    amanda 11-03-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Listen"
    What about Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren ’s performance did you like?

    the narration is great. different accents come through without being phony.


    Any additional comments?

    overall a great story that captivates you, and leaves you wanting more

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jody H. Western Chicago Suburbs 11-01-15
    Jody H. Western Chicago Suburbs 11-01-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "When one door closes, another opens"

    This book provides the reader with a delicate balance of heartache and joy. The characters are vividly described as well. The ties between Vivian and those in her life are threaded into the story with deftness that seems almost unintentional.

    My own father was orphaned in 1916, just before his 10th birthday and sent by train with his brother to live with family. His life was also formed by closing and opening doors.

    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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