Molly Ayer knows the Foster Care System all too well. She has been a part of it for most of her life bouncing from one home to another. Now at seventeen years old she is required to do community service for a petty theft crime. She is required to go through an elderly woman’s attic and clean up, toss out, and organize the cluttered dusty boxes. An undertaking that on sight appears impossible, especially since the widowed old woman Vivian, does not seem to keen on parting with her things.
As Molly explores the attic and what is inside the boxes, she discovers that Vivian too was part of a much earlier foster system called the Orphan Train. The Train would take children from stop to stop where families could come to the train and choose children to go home with them… that system unfortunately, worked about as well as some of it does still today. As Molly and Vivian spend their days together in the attic they learn of each others experiences with the foster care system, some good..and some bad. Some times it was your wits and your desire to survive that pulled you through.
Both women find out that they have a lot more in common than one would ever guess by looking at them.
Orphan Train was our book club selection for August. We chose this book because we won the books for our group from Harper Collins – woo hoo!!!!!!!! AND the author Christina Baker Kline will be speaking in our town on August 12th, as it happens, our regular Tuesday that we hold our book club on.
Orphan Train turned out to be a delight. As I had loaned my copy of the book out to a friend, I did not have one in my possession so I decided to try it on audio. I had heard it was an excellent listen and that turned out to be true. Narrator Suzanne Toren was perfect for this book.
I went into this book with little knowledge of what it was about other than the Orphan Train (*spoiler alert… it’s the title! 😉 ) I had not read any reviews of the book so even the format of going from Molly’s story to Vivian’s was a surprise and a pleasant one at that.
I enjoyed the storyline and the knowledge I picked up along the way regarding the Orphan Train. It is a subject I hope to learn more about and I am hopeful that next week Christina Baker Kline will talk more about her research.
Historical Fiction fans will enjoy this read.
I will talk more about the Bookies Book Club thoughts on the book as well as the Author Event next week.