Thursday, May 2, 2013

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Two women from different eras but with similar life stories.  How will that friendship progress?  

You will be mesmerized by this book that is based on a true part of American history.  ORPHAN TRAIN has magnificent detail and a wonderful storyline.  I was pulled in within five pages. The two alternating time periods telling about the lives of Vivian and Molly is beautifully told. They are two appealing and well-developed characters that you want to know more about and won't be disappointed in what you find.

This book addresses the life of orphans who arrived in the Midwest in the late 1920's on the orphan train that originated in New York and how they are treated as second class citizens by most of the adopted families.  It is told with enthusiasm and genuine compassion along with the detailing of feelings. 

You will feel the despair and helplessness of "Dorothy" as she moves from one household to another with the second one being worse than the first. The beautiful prose carries you along.  It makes you think about what is important in life and what you should keep with you and what you should leave behind and let go.

This book will pull at your heart strings and keep you up because you won't want to stop reading.  It brings two generations together each with good and bad memories to share.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a part of history I wasn’t aware of and with the added bonus of  Ms. Kline's incredible writing style. 

Don’t miss this splendid book.  You will fall in love with both main characters and wish you could be there with them as you learn about a not-often discussed part of American history. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.


  1. What a wonderful read!!

    Hope you get a chance to read it.

  2. It does highlight an almost unbelievable (to us now) program that is part of our history.

  3. Thanks for your review. I was not aware of that part of history. Sounds like a great book.

  4. Masterpiece Theater had a show about an orphan train years ago, but I think the orphans went to Canada. It was quite sad.


  5. The orphan trains are such a little known part of our history....I just finished orphan train and loved it, as I love all of christina's books. Christina edited my manuscript and she is not only a talented writer, she is an amazing lady!

  6. I also really want to find out more about the real life orphan trains! Another blogger said she was going to find a book about them, and someone else told me that their child has one about orphan trains. I just need to get to the library, I guess!
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  7. I would love to find out more about the "real" orphan train. It would be quite interesting.

    THANKS for stopping, Cleo.

  8. The story weaves between Molly and Vivian and their growing fondness and bond. The ending is predictable yet cathartic. There is no drama except the strength inherent in the emotional pull, the excellent research, and the wonderful, polished prose. And perhaps that too, contributes to the power of the novel.

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