March Book Discussion: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

  • March 30, 2014 · 3:00 PM
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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 luck or chance. 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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  • Stephen R.

    Sorry, too many family commitments this month, see you next time.

    March 30, 2014

  • Melissa S

    So sorry you ladies can't make it. I finally found a copy yesterday, and love it so far! Should be a fast and engrossing read :)

    March 25, 2014

  • Nancy

    I am no longer able to attend. I have to take my granddaughter to Kansas City for a soccer tournament. I really enjoyed the book and would have liked to discuss it. See you next time.

    March 25, 2014

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