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May Book Club - Orphan Train

Orphan Train

Description: The author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be delivers her most ambitious and powerful novel to date: a captivating story of two very different women who build an unexpected friendship: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever thought to ask.

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.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

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  • Rebecca

    I won't be able to make book club tonight but I hope you all have a wonderful time!

    May 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    So, I read a book called, "Orphan Train" by Brent Ford, which, I am seeing now is NOT the same Orphan Train the book club is discussing (there are several by the same name, by the way). I bought it for my kindle on Amazon. It was an OK book, but not great, and wondered at times why it was chosen for a book club discussion. Now, I am so bummed because I finished it time for the meeting, but, not the right book. So, I will have to, sadly wait for June.

    May 27, 2014

  • Kate

    Oh wow! I met the author of this at a book reading at Longfellow Books a few weeks ago, and here it is the subject of this month's book club. I lost track of this group for a while but am delighted to find it again. I will try to come on Wednesday as I would love to see everyone again and discuss the book.

    May 25, 2014

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