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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

TLC Book Tours: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Title: Orphan Train
Author: Christina Baker Kline
Format: ARC
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: April 2, 2013
Source: TLC Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan!
What's the Story?:

From "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."

My Two Cents:

"Orphan Train" is a book set in both the present day and the late 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Vivian traveled from NYC to Minnesota as a young girl on one of the infamous "orphan trains" that was used to get orphans out of the cities into the country where they might have a better opportunity to find families and to be able to make a good life. I've read a couple fictional accounts of what these orphan trains were like and it always amazes me that there was something like that in this country. The present day story also focuses on Vivian and her relationship with Molly, a teenager who is has been bounced around from foster home to foster home and is about the age out of the foster care system.

As with many stories that take place in both the past and the present, I preferred Vivian's story in the past. This book is very much a character driven book but it is much more driven by Vivian than by Molly. I loved all of the historical detail that I Kline put into the book. I also really liked the descriptions of the families that Vivian went through and the people that she met along the way. Some parts of the newer story seemed a little forced. Vivian's story also had a lot more twists and turns than Molly's story (I love being surprised by book events). The ending of the book especially seemed a little rushed. I really wanted more detail about Molly and who she was and the motivation for the things that she did in the book.

Overall, this book is a good read that will appeal to historical fiction lovers!

Don't Forget to Follow the Rest of the Tour:

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



  1. Just received a copy of this one. Glad to read your thoughts.

  2. This sounds like an interesting book. I'm looking forward to reading about Vivian but it's too bad Molly's part is not as good. Thanks for sharing your two cents worth! :)

    1. You know, usually when a book is split between the past and the present, I almost always seem to like the part that takes place in the past better!

  3. I felt the same way. I was left with what could have been rather than fully satisfied.

    1. Yeah, I wish there had been a little bit more in this book!

  4. Oh.My.Gosh! Love this!
    Great blog here so excited to follow along!
    Your newest fan,

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. It seems like in most books with past/present stories, the one in the past is more intriguing. I'll definitely keep this book in mind.

    1. Same here! It happens with almost every book split between the past and the present for me!

  7. I KNOW that this kind of thing happened in the past but it still boggles my mind ...

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  8. I've seen this one around and I really want to read it. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

  9. As I was reading this, I kept thinking that I had read a book or two that touched on this topic but for the life of me I cannot remember what the book or books were. I see that you mentioned you have read a few other fictional accounts of this topic - do you remember what the books were?

    1. I know there have been a couple that deal with orphan trains but I'm blanking on some of them. One of them I can think of off hand is The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty.


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