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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 (13768 )
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4.4 (12194 )
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4.4 (12185 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mary O'Donnell 03-21-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best books ever!"
    Where does Orphan Train rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Great writing, historical fiction and quite well read! The adult characters on the train ride reminded me of my days in Catholic school!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The truth behind the story line


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

    NO


    Any additional comments?

    NO

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 03-21-17
    James 03-21-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    22
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Juvenile at best"

    Got this book by following a link beneath my favorite book of all time (Anthony Doerr), "others listened to..." . Predictable as an episode of little house on the prairie, tear jerker included. Teen fluff at best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hobbynonni 03-17-17
    hobbynonni 03-17-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    11
    Overall
    "one you must hear..."

    this story is easy to follow, and very touching. I don't think people realize how difficult the life of an orphan was or even still is. the horror of the foster system is evident to this day. Today we can only hope there are better Homes for these children.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tienna 03-15-17
    Tienna 03-15-17
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    REVIEWS
    18
    3
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    Story
    "Orphan trains??"

    I wish I could give it more than five stars!
    A wonderful story that I will think about for a long time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Peterson St. Charles, IL 03-14-17
    J. Peterson St. Charles, IL 03-14-17 Member Since 2014

    equestrian3

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Decent story"

    Struggled with the story because it had every predictable stereotype - the alcoholic Native American, bad boy with a heart of gold, rebel teen who is misunderstood and brilliant, etc... there were no surprises, just a nice story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gardengirl 03-14-17
    Gardengirl 03-14-17 Member Since 2016
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    24
    15
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    "Absolutely loved this book."

    I recommend this one to everyone I know. I loved the story and didn't realize that there were actually orphan trains during the war. Wonderful story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sharon mccarthy 03-10-17
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    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Orphan Train"

    I was not sure of this story but after the first few chapters it was gripping and it was lovely to just listen to these fascinating life story's told side by side of a young girl and an old lady. I would love to have known what happened next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G-lori-ousLori 03-08-17 Member Since 2015
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    6
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "The Orphan Train "

    Wow, what an incredible book! Who knew that this really existed back then, such a good story of retelling a part of history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    atfeese 03-05-17
    atfeese 03-05-17 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
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    Story
    "Perfect combination of writing and performance."

    This is a great book with rich character development. It is performed to perfection as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moongazer Whitmore Lake, MI 03-03-17
    Moongazer Whitmore Lake, MI 03-03-17 Member Since 2014
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    REVIEWS
    12
    9
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    Story
    "Touching"

    Great narration! Story really tugged at my heart and was so rewarding! I loved it!

    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
  • michael taylor
    11/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A wonderful read from start to finish"

    A rollercoaster of emotions and surprises. Would recommend to anyone as it's a great read xx

    0 of 0 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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