Orphan Train

Well hello again! It’s turned into one of those days where I get two reviews to all of you. I’ve been listening to more audiobooks in order to help me meet my goodreads goal of 150 books before year’s end a little quicker. I finished my most recent audios on the commute home from work this evening, so I thought I would let you guys know how it all played out. My recent listen was a book I’ve wanted to read for awhile, but just never grabbed off the shelves when I was out and about. It’s called Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. I know I’m behind the eight ball on this one, but I finally got to it.

I really enjoyed this story. Not only am I into history and fiction, but I’m also into genealogy and finding out where we come from. Orphan Train covered all of that ground for me.

Niamh’s (pronounced Neeve) story broke my heart, but lifted me up as well. After making the journey to New York from Ireland in the 1920s, she goes through an unbearable tragedy when she loses her family in a fire. Left an orphan at the age of 9, she is loaded onto a train with several other children, and is carried across the country, stopping in several towns, and hoping to find a new forever family. Her start in life is rough, but I was always interested to find out where she’d wind up next. Whether she’s Niamh, Dorothy, or Viv, her life is a complex and heart-pounding one

On the flip side in 2011 Maine, Molly is a foster kid who got herself into a bit of trouble by stealing a book out of her local library. Instead of going to juvie, her boyfriend, Jack, helps her line up a community service job cleaning out the attic of a 90 year old woman named Vivianne.

Once the two meet, we get the back and forth of Molly’s life and how it compares and mirrors Niamh’s decades apart. I loved their interaction and how they were able to relate to each other in their experiences.

Going back in time to points of American history was really insightful. I loved getting a personal (even though fictional) account of The Great Depression, The Jazz Age, World War II, and beyond, as Niamh grew up and created a lifetime of memories.

This was a wonderful coming of age tale of history, family, love, life, and the journey we’re all on as people from birth to death. I’m really glad I met these two, and all the other characters they brought with them on the way. What an emotional and memorable trip!

My Final Rating: five out of five stars



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