Orphan TrainChristina Baker Kline

Orphan Train

4.5 star

Total 2,495 Ratings

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline Book Summary

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

Now featuring a sneak peek at Christina's forthcoming novel The Exiles, coming August 2020.

“A lovely novel about the search for family that also happens to illuminate a fascinating and forgotten chapter of America’s history. Beautiful.”—Ann Packer

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?

As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.

Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, and unexpected friendship.

Orphan Train (Christina Baker Kline) Book Reviews

Orphan trainExcellent book. I had no idea this train even existed. I will want to read her other books..Score: 5/5

Well-written and touchingI thoroughly enjoyed this touching story of two orphan girls from two separate generations. The author did a beautiful job weaving the tales together. As an adoptive father of a former foster child, this book gives me a glimpse into what my son may be feeling. Thank you..Score: 5/5

Orphan TrainI enjoyed this book from start to finish..Score: 5/5

Incredible bookThis book is incredible! I had no idea that Orphan Trains existed in this country.Score: 5/5

Loved itGreat book about the orphan immigrant children and the challenges they faced as told from an elderly woman and a teen in foster care. Watch the chapter years to know which person the story is about. Confusing at first..Score: 5/5

A great readA feel good book that is well written and very accessible..Score: 5/5

Gorgeous!An amazing storyline told with rich detail and so much heart. Can't wait to read more from this author!.Score: 5/5

Orphan TrainVery interesting story about a part of history that was unknown to me. Having grown up in the North Dakota area I am always intrigued to read about the formative years of my home state's history. And having worked in human services most of my adult life I am always aware of treatment of those often considered " less than" or "unfortunate" ones impacted by conditions beyond their control and how resilient we can be in spite of those conditions. Well written and very thought provoking..Score: 5/5

Orphan TrainI read this book today, not able to put it down. Richly drawn characters (souls), every detail symbolic; it is a magnificent novel not to be forgotten..Score: 4/5

BeautifulThis is an absolute beautiful book. I definitely recommend if you like books that merge the past with today..Score: 5/5

Well wrote.I enjoyed the history and facts that this book had. I almost read the the whole book in one day because i couldn't put it down. I will more than likely be buying a hardcopy..Score: 5/5

Must read!Excellent read with much history and one can only imagine the stories that these children could tell..Score: 5/5

Orphan TrainAwesomely written book. Best read ever. As being a person who lived my whole childhood in an orphanage, the writer has captured so many details of the huge range of emotions that go along with the many issues of living without family. I was just like "Vivian", who as a child had thought there weren't others like us who lived in such a place. Would give this book 10 stars if it were possible on capturing such details on so many levels. Loved how Vivian and Molly had so much in common and could come together to share such intricate details of their personal lives, details of understanding that only those who live it, know it, and understand it. Love the, "what will you leave behind, and what will you carry with you"..Score: 5/5

Bought on a whim, won the lotteryNever heard of the author and never heard of an orphan train but occasionally get lucky by picking books because of a review or synopsis. Well, I won the lottery with this one. A simply gorgeous read, couldn't put it down, didn't want it to end. Wonderful character development. You will love this book, so if you're like me and sometimes get lucky with picking a book by whim, this one is a true winner. Good luck!.Score: 5/5

Definitely 5 Stars!This is a great read worthy of 5 stars. I was hooked from the Prologue and 3/4 through the book I was already sad that it would be coming to an end soon. The story is written with so much feeling and both the primary and secondary characters are colorful and come to life and I felt as if I were there with them, watching them, feeling what they felt. I loved both Vivian and Molly. This is definitely a story of resilience and strength. The parallel of the modern day story with the 1929 story is flawlessly weaved. I had never known about the Orphan Trains and I felt inclined to do additional research after I finished the book. The history here is unbelievable..Score: 5/5

Great read!Loved everything about this story!.Score: 5/5

Orphan TrainA wonderful and well written story that gets a hold of you and won't let you put it down until that last page is read. I enjoyed it tremendously! Vickie R..Score: 5/5

Totally enjoyed this bookGreat read! I’m finding historical fiction to be my new favorite books. Sometimes it was hard to keep the characters straight because of the time periods, locations, and even changing names, but I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between Molly and Vivian..Score: 5/5

Lovely bookEnjoyable. Hard to put down..Score: 4/5

😭I ugly cried while reading this book. Other than the endless tears, this book was amazing and definitely a page-turner..Score: 5/5

Orphan TrainLoved this book! Couldn't put it down..Score: 5/5

AmazingI happened upon this book by chance and thought I'd give it a try. I have to say it's probably one of my favorite books I've ever read. I was instantaneously hooked as soon as I begun. The author does an amazing job of painting a vivid of life back then. The ending brought tears to my eyes which is a first in a long long time. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone..Score: 5/5

Excellent readThis book was one of the best reads I have read in a long time. I did not want to put the book down. Love this story and all the main characters!.Score: 5/5

Touching story, life is a full circle!Thoroughly enjoyable book,could not put it down till the end..Score: 5/5

Orphan Train (Written By: Christina Baker Kline)In this day and age, orphan trains' are thankfully no longer in operation but many Foster children are still being abused and mistreated within Foster homes' and/or group homes. Because I too am a ward of the State, I found this book to be highly empathetic and inspirational..Score: 5/5

Orphan trainIt kept my attention right along, I learn something about our history, which was never taught in school. It ended too soon.....Score: 5/5

Orphan Train hits the spotCaptivating read. Enjoyed both he story and the lively writing style. Fascinating historical fiction that took me by surprise as it unfolded beyond a children's tail to a study of human nature of how society has treated its most vulnerable citizens. Wished it was longer...Score: 5/5

EngrossingThe two main characters have so much color and heart even given the dreadful circumstances in which they grew up. Kept me interested till the end..Score: 5/5

Could not put it downI'm having trouble putting into words how much I loved this book. Download it. Buy it. Borrow it. Whatever. Just do it..Score: 5/5

Ophan trainI loved this book!.Score: 4/5

Amazing!You won't be able to put this book down! The contrast between the foster care system of today and the 1920's has unfortunately, not changed much. Walking in the shoes of these children is an experience you'll never forget..Score: 5/5

AmamzingI went to cover a book club at the local library for work and the book they were covering was the orphan train. After listening to the discussion as someone who is interested in being a foster/adopted parent in the future i had to read this book so amazing i was slow in starting it but read about the last 200 pages in 24 hours..Score: 5/5

Great book!Couldn't put the book down! Such a great read!.Score: 5/5

Orphan TrainThis book is a page turner. Completed in two days, but wish it hadn’t ended so abruptly..Score: 4/5

Orphan TrainI had heard of the Orphan Train, so was interested to learn more through historical fiction. I was not disappointed. The subject was well researched and woven into an interesting and intriguing story. The scene details were not as well researched and were sometimes a bit of a distraction. Gingham and checked fabrics are one and the same. Crocus does not come in pink and forget-me-nots are blue, not purple..Score: 4/5

Contrived?Yes, this book ended just where it was reasonable to end (to answer reviewer #1). I wanted a story based on facts as this was, of course. Just the Dorothy-Vivian story would have good enough. This plot seemed a little contrived. It finally worked out, the Molly -Vivian connection, but it was painfully awkward for many pages..Score: 3/5

Oᖇᑭᕼᗩᑎ TᖇᗩIᑎI TᕼIᑎK TᕼIᔕ ᗯᗩᔕ ᗩ GᖇEᗩT ᗷOOK ᗷᑌT I ᑭᖇEᖴEᖇᖇEᗪ ᒪIᒪIᗩᑎᔕ ᑭOᖇTIOᑎ Oᖴ TᕼE ᔕTOᖇY ᗷETTEᖇ TᕼOᑌGᕼ..Score: 5/5

Orphan TrainI loved this book even though it is heartbreaking to know that so many children had to go through the experiences the main character did..Score: 5/5

Wonderful!!!Such a wonderful story and does not include any sexual content that you would rather your teenager not read..Score: 5/5

Beautiful storyI loved it..Score: 5/5

Orphan TrainWonderful book.Score: 5/5

Great book that had me wishing for more!I read the Orphan Train for book club and really enjoyed it. It is short but ended on such a sweet note that I was okay with it not going into more detail. I highly recommended this book to all of my friends..Score: 5/5

Orphan trainIt was a good book a bit confusing at first not understanding the story lines who they where about, but when it was revealed it was a very bitter sweet sad and even happy life for the central characters. I gave it 4 stars because I felt the ending was disappointing. The book was written very well and hard to put down, when the end of the book came I couldn't believe it. That being said I still do recommend this book it's a part of our history I for one was not aware of..Score: 4/5

WonderfulGreat read with historical perspective based on fact..Score: 5/5

AmazingI tell everyone to read this book! I was so sad and happy when it was over. I don't know what I would have done if it didn't have a happy ending!.Score: 5/5

Orphan TrainThe smoothness and infusion between the two stories and the two characters made the book an easy read. Very enjoyable. Molly's transformation gives a satisfaction, the catharsis much needed at the end of the story. So does the fact that Vivian comes around 180* regarding her connecting with her past. It's impressive that the author, not having lived remotely similar conditions, manages to describe feelings, situations and challenges, that one can only describe with such believability if they personally went through it. While reading seated by the fireplace in my living room, I felt the bitter cold piercing my bones freezing my bone marrow solid. I felt the sorrow and fear of the nine year old, being thrown away again and walking in the middle of the night, without destination. Sadness, the embarrassment and the anger after she was violated. I felt because I remembered. Not that one ever forgets. In answering to her teacher's question if everything is alright at home, I felt Dorothy's humiliation and embarrassment as she kept her eyes lowered. I felt her heartbeats speed up as she lied; she wants to go sit at her desk and be like everyone else; she doesn't want pity, she resented that. Those descriptions can only roll down on your paper if you went to school wanted to fit in but had no chance. You had to show up in school with holes in your clothes and your shoes, and one of the very few that stood in line, with your tin cup looking anxiously at the ladle and hoping that the volunteer filled it up to the rim before she poured it in you cup. With your cold little fingers, holding tied on your cup and making sure its right under the ladle while the volunteer is looking to her side chatting with another adult. And other times too ashamed to go to the line so you skipped and went straight into the classroom with empty stomach. You went to the pencil sharpener in the back of the classroom with your half gone pencil and waited your turn while the girl in front of you takes her time sharpening her three or four long, new pencils, including a colored one. You are not even asked to participate in the field trip not only because you don't have the money, but because the teacher knows your ma needs you at home to help with sewing and other chores. So much for that. I have a problem understanding where is the author coming from a female author at that, one who gave birth, would not have Vivian give up her daughter for adoption ( especially a legitimate child that is the product of two people who love each other so much). Especially when her beloved husband is killed in the war. It doesn't make sense to me. Especially since she had suffered so much as an orphan and without connection to her people..*** Especially since it wasn't a matter of funds etc etc. too many reasons to keep the baby. Why? Unless you have no food for your newborn (and even then), you don't give away a part of you, a piece of your body. It is another way of throwing away your baby. Some unfinished business. All is well that ends well. The book is wonderful and appropriate for all ages. Should be on the reading list in schools. I would recommend it. The author did a great job..Score: 5/5

No need to buy :(Wow, the very first review was a spoiler to the ending, no need to buy the book now. Why must a reviewer give away the story???.Score: 1/5

Lovely read!Really enjoyed this book- interesting, touching and insightful with a light mix of history..Score: 5/5

Orphan trainWell written and enjoyable. Author did intertwine a liberal 60 idealogy into the story that was distracting..Score: 3/5

Great BookLoved this story and the writing style.Score: 5/5

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Superb!Such a superb, well written novel. That shows the struggles and tribulations of one women, it power and enrichment of unlikely friends and the prevail of acceptance and belief! Couldn't put this novel down! Superb from the beginning.Score: 4/5

GreatGreat novel ! I loved it. The story is well documented and this is the kind of book you can’t put down. I recommend it !.Score: 5/5

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