The Orphan Train
By: Christina Baker Kline
Paperback: 271 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
I loved this book! Not only was the setting in my home state of Maine, it also portrays intricate mental images of what orphan trains were truly like in the early and late 1930's. The time frame switches between present day and the past as former orphan Vivian tells her life story to Molly, a present day teenager and orphan herself whose unruly behavior has landed her with the consequence of community service. The reader is instantly drawn into the mind of 17 year old orphan Molly and 80 year old Vivian as both characters connect with one another and their experiences while sorting through Vivian's belongings in the attic.
Molly, who at first does not see the point of helping Vivian sort through her belongings, soon begins to identify with Vivian in many ways as each item they unveil unfolds another detailed story about Vivian's life as a young orphan in the 1930's.
Kline brings out the true spirit and compassion of the human heart as readers are placed into the mind of two people who are decades apart in age, yet can still understand and relate to each other's trials and tribulations.
I found this book to be a really good read, it can be tough to get through at times, as some of the events that unfold through Vivian's account of her life story are quite heart- wrenching, however there are times of happiness and hope that leave the reader feeling satisfied.
I definitely recommend this book to anybody who is a history buff! I had never heard of Orphan Trains until I read this book, therefore I found it quite interesting to learn about such a large part of history through the eyes of two very well developed characters!