Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

(Image copyright: Christinabakerkline.com)

Note: I started writing this post in January after I finished the book, but I polished it up and am just now getting around to submitting it here!

I received a bunch of books for Christmas of 2014, as I do every year from my family, by various authors.  Sometimes they are on my Christmas list, and others are surprises.  Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline was a surprise, even though I had talked about it a few times.

My voracious appetite is always satisfied after I read a spectacular page-turner.  Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline was a perfect example.  I was lost in both Molly Ayer and Vivian Daly’s worlds from beginning to end. I read it before bed each night and I kept wanting to read more each time. I didn’t want it to end!

I remember reading and learning about orphan trains when I was young and through Nellie in the Samantha American Girl books, but this story was different. It showed a different side about what could happen when an orphan was placed. 

Molly and Vivian are a lot alike, despite their ages (Molly is seventeen and Vivian is ninety-one). They grew up not knowing a lot about their pasts, they were shuffled from home to home (Molly is a foster child; Vivian was an orphan train rider), and they have seen both the worst and the best in people. Their worlds collide when Molly does a service project by helping Vivian clean out her attic. I loved how each of them learned from the other and they changed by the end and were able to become friends.

Sometimes I have a hard time with books that are told from multiple points of view because I have to keep looking back to see who is telling the story, but not with this one.  I knew when Molly was telling the story versus Vivian.  I’m glad that Kline wrote the book the way she did and had different narrative types (Molly was third person and Vivian was first person).

I loved the ending to the book, but I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it. I can see this book being made into either a feature film or a TV movie someday! Thank you, @bakerkline, for this wonderful read!

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