The Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline

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 by Christina Baker Kline 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.

The book for June is "The Hum and the Shiver" by Alex Bledsoe.

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  • Marjie O.

    So sorry to have missed the discussion. I had a migraine that wouldn't have let me make any meaningful comments ... Assuming I could recall any parts of the book!

    May 22, 2014

  • Rand

    Descriptive narrative of mundane, everyday scenes--simple, yet simply excellent.
    In toning down the suffering and pain endured by the children (presumably to broaden market appeal and acceptability, especially for younger age groups), unfortunately, I think misrepresents the cruel truth by sanitizing, almost to the point of romanticizing, the harsh and unspeakable realty, including, I suspect, a frightening death rate (probably under reported) from fatal, rampant childhood diseases.
    The trans generational juxtaposition of chapters, while a good idea, failed to deliver a contrast of dialogue including syntax, words identified with the era including idioms, etc, that sufficiently contrasted time and place to transport the reader into a different world, world view and mindset. Okay. But just okay. A missed opportunity.
    The book was pleasant, but pleasantly predictable. It failed to deliver heart stopping can't wait to turn the page action and plot(s).
    And finally, a surprising degree of "telling" rather than "sh

    May 21, 2014

    • Rand

      barred", unplugged adult version.
      Good discussion and a lively, intelligent group! Thank you:)

      May 21, 2014

    • Rand

      intelligent group! Thank you!

      May 21, 2014

  • Barbara

    I'd read this book months ago and really enjoyed learning about the orphan trains. The points brought out at the end of the meeting about the market audience were right on. I also felt that way about The Book Thief.

    May 20, 2014

  • Chiara P.

    Wish there were half stars on this one...I personally felt the book was poorly written overall the characters were flat and the writing formulaic, yet the author had a great premise which she could have done a lot with. The discussion was good, it's interesting to hear other points of views

    1 · May 19, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nice story & great conversation :)

    May 19, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nice story & great discussion :)

    1 · May 19, 2014

  • Cathy M.

    Opposing views on this book which always makes for a lively discussion! I think Rand made some very good points and presented a good summation near the end of the discussion.
    "The Orphan Caboose" as a suggested sequel title was hilarious!

    1 · May 19, 2014

  • Goldie

    I had a nice time today at the meeting. It was great to hear everyone's opinions and thoughts on the book. I look forward to next month. I love that the group chooses books that I would've never read otherwise.

    May 19, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I feel the same way - love hearing how everyone interprets the books differently.

      1 · May 19, 2014

  • Candace L.

    What is the book for June?

    April 24, 2014

    • Courtney

      The Hum and The Shiver by Alex Bledsoe

      April 25, 2014

  • Gloria

    Don't forget to send me your book selection (for consideration) for July by May 1.

    April 23, 2014

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