Thursday, April 18, 2013

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Publisher: William Morrow 
Pages: 288 
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  Nearly eighteen, Molly Ayer knows she has one last chance. Just months from "aging out" of the child welfare system, and close to being kicked out of her foster home, a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvie and worse.

Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers 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.

The closer Molly grows to Vivian, the more she discovers parallels to her own life. A Penobscot Indian, she, too, is an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. As her emotional barriers begin to crumble, 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.



Kritters Thoughts:  Two stories parallel in this amazing book that focuses on foster care and the ways it has and has not changed in our country.  A young girl who is close to aging out of the system has yet to find a place to call home and just wants to feel at peace in one place.  The other story centers around an elderly woman who had to leave New York on an orphan train headed west in hopes of finding a family that would take her in and care for her.  They both were abused by families and the system and it was sad to see that we haven't figured out how to fix the situation; if there is a solution.

I absolutely adored how the author used the past and the present to show the foster care world and how no matter the time in history, a child without a home still feels the same feelings.  The way the author brought Molly into Vivian's home and then unfolded both of their stories was just magical.  I was worried that I would confuse their experiences, but not for a moment, these two people were so distinct but still had so many similarities.  

A piece of historical fiction, but easily wrapped in a current story, so I would recommend this book to readers who may not always enjoy the historical fiction genre, but are in need of a great book to read.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2013 Challenge: 18 out of 50

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


The tour schedule

Tuesday, April 2nd: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, April 3rd: A Bookish Affair
Thursday, April 4th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Monday, April 8th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Wednesday, April 10th: Peppermint PhD
Thursday, April 11th: Melody & Words
Monday, April 15th: Excellent Library
Tuesday, April 16th: The House of the Seven Tails
Wednesday, April 17th: missris
Thursday, April 18th: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, April 22nd: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, April 23rd: Book Chatter

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