Book Talk: Orphan Train

(No spoilers in this post–go ahead and read on!)

I have to admit — I haven’t been reading much.

I do feel like grad school is a fairy good excuse; with the long hours of classes, hours of studying, and lots of other things going on in my life, I really don’t have the time (or energy!) to sink into a good book at night.

But it is unfortunate. So when my mom raved about Orphan Train over the phone this fall, I knew I had a great read for my winter break.


Christina Baker Kline weaves a captivating story through the narration of two characters: 17 year old Molly and 91 year old Vivian, who are sort of thrown together without knowing how much they have in common. Both are orphans, and both have experienced hardship in their lives (though their stories are very much different!). While the writing isn’t prose, Kline does an excellent job of telling an important story, and I couldn’t put the book down. I finished it in 2 days. If you’re looking for a great story that you could potentially finish in a weekend, this is the book.

The amazing part about the orphan train in the story is that it’s more fact than fiction–between the late 1800s and early 1900s, orphaned children were loaded onto trains and driven town-to-town, hoping they’d be selected from a lineup and finally have a place to call home. I have to admit that I was intrigued enough by the history that I did a little research on orphan trains after I finished the book. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the story!

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick read and a captivating story–I really enjoyed reading it, and I hope you do, too!




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