Monday, December 1, 2014

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Description from Google Books:

"Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to 'aging out' out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns 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. 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."
For me, the mark of a good book is when I feel invested in the characters' lives. Reading this book, I was very eager to find out what happened next to these ladies.  I don't want to give too much away, but I felt so very empathetic to Ms. Vivian and all she went through in her life.  It was also interesting to watch Molly learn from Ms. Vivian and grow up a bit throughout the book.  Readers should be forewarned that there are a few "choice" words and one especially harrowing situation in this book, but nothing that doesn't fit the context of the characters' situations, and certainly nothing gratuitous.  A few parts of Orphan Train were a little slow for me, but I really enjoyed the ending of the book. All the pieces came together and left me satisfied with the outcome and hopeful for these characters' lives.

4 out of 5 stars.
I borrowed this book from my local public library.  I received no compensation for this review.

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