Orphan Train (Kline) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
This superbly composed novel tells two parallel stories of suffering and perseverance, capturing the heart and mind equally and remaining mesmerizing through the intensely heart-wrenching conclusion.
RT Times Review


Kline’s absorbing new novel (after Bird in the Hand) is a heartfelt page-turner.... Seventeen-year-old Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer has spent most of her life in foster care. When...she ends up cleaning out elderly Vivian Daly’s attic[,] Molly learns that Vivian was herself an orphan...put on the Orphan Train in the late 1920s and tossed from home to home in Minnesota. The growing connection leads Molly to dig deeper into Vivian’s life, which allows Molly to discover her own potential and helps Vivian rediscover someone she believed had been lost to her forever.... Kline lets us live the characters’ experiences vividly through their skin, and...[t]he growth from instinct to conscious understanding to partnership between the two is the foundation for a moving tale.
Publishers Weekly


[A] compelling story about loss, adaptability, and courage. Molly is a rebellious 17-year-old foster child sentenced to community service for stealing a copy of Jane Eyre. She finds a position cleaning out the attic of Vivian, an elderly woman in their coastal Maine town. As Molly sorts through old trunks and boxes, Vivian begins to share stories from her past.... [when] she was packed off on one of the many orphan trains intended to bring children to Midwestern families who would care for them. Each orphan's lot was largely dependent on the luck of the draw. In this, Vivian's life parallels Molly's, and an unlikely friendship blossoms. —Christine Perkins, Bellingham P.L., WA
Library Journal


[A] dramatic, emotional story from a neglected corner of American history. Molly is a troubled teen, a foster child bounced from one unsuitable home to another. Vivian is a wealthy 91-year-old widow, settled in a Victorian mansion on the Maine seashore. But Vivian's story has much in common with Molly's.... Vivian's journey west was aboard an "Orphan Train," a bit of misguided 1900s-era social engineering moving homeless, destitute city children, mostly immigrants, into Midwest families.... Kline does a superb job in connecting goth-girl Molly...to Vivian, who sees her troubled childhood reflected in angry Molly.... A deeply emotional story drawn from the shadows.
Kirkus Reviews




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