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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 (11606 )
5 star
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4.4 (10272 )
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Megan E. Alicino 09-10-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful"

    Beautifully read. I clung to every word! The words used in this story are perfectly placed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annalize London 09-09-15
    Annalize London 09-09-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Epic and superbly written"

    An epic tale based on historic truths. Expertly written and very touching. Narration is excellent. A book that will stay with me for some time and highly recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fritz 09-09-15
    Fritz 09-09-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved this book!"

    Excellent writing and a meaningful story caught my attention immediately. I loved the 2 parallel stories and how they came together. The story touched me and brought me to tears at the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica clearwater, FL, United States 09-07-15
    Monica clearwater, FL, United States 09-07-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    141
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing book, could not put it down.."

    Beautiful story. Well written and performed. Did not expect the beautiful twist at the end. Hope to see a book 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna 09-06-15
    Donna 09-06-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Endearing"

    I loved this book. The characters were
    Real and deep. The relationships were
    Complex and interesting. The story unfolds beautifully. I highly recommend it. A good read. Elicits many emotions and provides insights as to the important things in this life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roadreader 09-05-15
    Roadreader 09-05-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "I didn't want it to end!"

    This story made me laugh and tear up. It was a beautiful well told story about humanity and friendship and longing to belong! worth the credit for sure .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim/Mark 09-03-15
    Kim/Mark 09-03-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a wonderful book!"

    It caught my interest right away. I had a hard time putting it down. I truly found it interesting and entertaining. It's hard to imagine what those children went thorough--an important part of history. (like it or not) . Highly recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tricia M. Roberson Indian Head, md United States 09-01-15
    Tricia M. Roberson Indian Head, md United States 09-01-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Having been Adopted"
    Would you listen to Orphan Train again? Why?

    Yes, I will listen to it again soon. So many of both Molly and Vivie's life resonated with my own.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Vivi. I imagined that my grandmother had the same fortitude that Vivi did.


    Have you listened to any of Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The last chapter of the book. I was there on that step.l


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Morahan 09-01-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great read/listen!"

    It was a great read. Audible, please stop forcing minimum lengths in reviews. It's very annoying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Buck Rocklin, CA, United States 08-30-15
    Michael Buck Rocklin, CA, United States 08-30-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    16
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    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magnificent, moving, powerful…"

    Poignant, terrifying, heartfelt, intense…
    The words written by Kline and dramaticized by Almsay and Torren leave the listener breathless and yearning. This is a novel that stays with you for a long time.

    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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