By Christina Baker Kline
This novel is about the “Orphan Trains” that are a part of American history. It was common from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s for orphaned children to be sent from cities to farming communities. Sometimes the families took the children in as their own, often they were merely “farmhands”.
This story follows the life of one of these children, Irish immigrant, Vivian. As she is now aging, she faces her past with the help of a troubled young girl assigned to help the elderly widow.
Young Molly is also a foster child and an outsider due to her own heritage. As the pair come together to sort through Vivian’s belongings, a bond forms. They have many things in common, due to the lives they have been forced to live.
The story moves easily between Vivian’s live as a Depression-era orphan, and the life Molly leads as an orphan in today’s world. Christina Baker Kline writes a moving story of survival, finding oneself and the power of friendship in unexpected forms.