Carey Henderson's Reviews > Orphan Train

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
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Jul 23, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: faith-hope-love-grace, favorites, fiction, historical, historical-war-time, makes-ya-think, tear-jearkers
Read from June 19 to July 23, 2017 , read count: 1

I really enjoyed this novel, much more than I was expecting too.

While it did take me awhile to get through (almost a month, eek!), the delay was not because of the writing. I started a new job right around the time I began this novel & reading was put on hold while I was getting acclimated. Once things slowed down & I picked the novel back up, I couldn't put it down. Picked up on pg. 50 & knocked the remaining 300pgs out in 2 days. I was sucked in.

I can't believe that I didn't know anything about Orphan Trains, that this part of American history even existed. I think the author did an incredible job giving a voice to countless of children. As "Vivian" aged through the novel I really enjoyed reading how her character grew. I felt the author did an incredible job of keeping her true to her upbringing. Her adulthood & personality was a direct reflection of her childhood; the author never faltered on keeping the two connected. Some of the chapters went a little fast for me; Dutchy was a prevalent theme in the whole novel & I wish their reunion/marriage/his death was explored a little more. But again, I feel "Vivian" was so used to heartbreak & moving on that when those events transpired, she accepted it & continued on. *btw--I loved that he was returned back into her life. And I love how the events collided for that to happen*

The 4-star rating came from the chapters of Molly. I didn't dislike her character, but (frankly) I didn't really care what happened to her. I know she was instrumental to the novel, but I found myself flipping pages to see how long I'd have to read her chapters. I know she was a victim of the foster care system, but I think the author was trying a little too hard to make sure the reader disliked the foster mom. There were times while reading her chapters when Molly just seemed like a spoiled teenager to me.

The novel ended too quickly for me. I wish it had gone on for a chapter or two more with some kind of update on where the characters are now. I would've liked to have known the relationship forged between Vivian/Sarah & how Vivian's death would've been handled.

I highly recommend this novel as a book club read. There's so many layers to discuss, the chapters are easy to read & follow and it's a part of history that I don't think many are aware of. Really a great novel!
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Reading Progress

06/18 marked as: to-read
06/19 marked as: currently-reading
07/23 marked as: read

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