Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?

As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.

Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.


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  • Elaine

    I'm not quite sure how to contact you. My email is [masked]. Hope like heck to solve my eye problem soon! At least they said I won't go blind from it! Lovely people, these docs! I do read a lot, prob too much. What's next on the list? Also I thank you for the offer of a ride, hence my giving you my email. I live within 2 & 1/2 miles of Jimmie's, never been there, and just a dash further to Panera! Thank you,I may need, take you up on your offer. It's very disconcerting to drive like this!

    June 19

  • Elaine

    I'm truly sorry to miss this. I've been having a lot of problems with my right eye and need surgery; at times it is very unsafe to drive. I found the book to be very fascinating. I didn't believe so at first, but the depth of characterization and plot caught me. Have you considered Sparrow ? I haven't read it for a number of years, but found the Q's for book clubs to be very interesting and the story itself was intense and deep. Will get back on author, etc.

    June 19

    • Sue O

      Elaine, sorry you couldn't make it. If you need arise for future meetings, just email me.

      June 19

  • Elaine

    It's The Sparrow: A Novel- by Mary Dorian Russel. I thought it was older, but evidently published 2010.

    June 19

  • Chris

    Don't think I'm lost when I fail to show up tonight. I just got whistle-bit at work and have an early-morning meeting tomorrow, so I'll be staying in tonight. I liked the book, though.

    June 19

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