“Orphan Train” Book Talk by Rebecca

The “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline is a fictional novel based on true events that occurred in the late 1800’s. This is the story of Molly and Vivian, two women whose lives intersect because Molly had to perform community service for being in trouble which was fulfilled by helping Vivian clean her attic. Molly is an Orphaned Penobscot Indian who is moving from house to house. When Molly meets Vivian she was seventeen years old while Vivian was nine-one. At first they did not have much in common, but while Molly starts to help Vivian, she realizes that they have had similar experiences. Vivian like Molly, was sent by rail as a young women not knowing what the future would bring.

Both women are in different stages of their life’s journey, Molly is still on her path to life, while Vivian is in her later life stages. Through Vivian’s recollections of her Orphan train ride, Molly feels a connection with Vivian. The chapters go back and forth threw Vivian’s memories and Molly’s crazy life, which is confusing at times, but it was very interesting to see the similarities between their two lives.

“Orphan Train” is recommended for readers who like historical fiction. This book is probably targeting a younger female audience because of Vivian experience and Molly’s age. However, older adults would enjoy the story of Vivian’s hardships and how she meet her challenges. It’s the story of an older person sharing her knowledge with a younger angry, bitter, and tough, girl. But, Vivian learns a lot from Molly and her experiences.


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