A poignant and heartbreaking tale of two orphaned or foster children separated in time by several generations but who share common experiences. They have both been left at a young age to fend for themselves in a grim adult world. The lives of Vivian, a ten year old Irish immigrant girl placed on an orphan train from New York City to Minnesota in the 1930’s and of Molly, a present day Goth teenager from Maine who is maxing out of the foster care system, intersect as they both become strong and resilient women.
The historical aspect of the novel is particularly compelling. Between 1854 and 1929, the real orphan trains relocated more than 200,000 orphaned, abandoned or homeless children from large East Coast cities to foster homes in the Midwest where many of the children lived lives of indentured servitude.
In conjunction with reading the book, The Orphan Train, the reader might also be interested in viewing the PBS dvd entitled The Orphan Trains, introduced by David McCullough.
“A gem.” (Huffington Post)
“Absorbing…a heartfelt page-turner about two women finding a sense of home…Kline lets us live the characters’ experiences vividly through their skin…The growth from instinct to conscious understanding to partnership between the two is the foundation for a moving tale.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Kline draws a dramatic, emotional story from a neglected corner of American history.” (Kirkus Reviews)