Orphan Train by, Christina Baker Kline
What a fabulous read! The author mixed the historical and present day story so seamlessly I was completely hooked.
The story of the orphan train is so sad, these children were herded up like cattle and sent away from everything they knew, sent to a strange land with people who may or may not take care of them. For some it was indentured servitude, others were free labor that came with beatings. Some, the lucky ones found homes with people who truly cared about their well-being, and then ones like Niamh/Dorothy/Vivian had to go through a few bad ones to find the good one. These children lost their heritage, their names, and their religion. I felt the author’s research was very thorough and this book like historical fiction should be makes me want to read more and more about the orphan trains.
In the present day we meet Molly a Penobscot Indian in foster care after her father dies and her mother is in no shape to take care of her, she bounces from one bad home to another. When she gets in trouble her boyfriend sets it up for her to do her community service with his mother’s boss Vivian a 91 year old woman who needs help cleaning out her attic. As the two go through the boxes of Vivian’s life they realize they have much more in common than anyone would have ever guessed.
I loved the relationship between Vivian & Molly how both are wary because of what they have been through and to see this relationship grow through the stories Vivian tells as they unearth her life that has been tucked away in boxes.
I truly enjoyed this story and I think Molly and Vivian will stay with me for a while. This was my first book by this author but she has piqued my curiosity and I will be looking for her other books.
I highly recommend this book but be warned it is hard to put down and will stay with you long after you finish!