This book continues on best seller lists and is a favorite of book clubs. Occasionally I repost a piece that appeared earlier on this blog. This brief review appeared on the reading page in January, 2014. A book club I know is reading it this week so if you missed it, here’s the repost.
BRIEF BOOK REVIEW WITH NO SPOILERS
Orphan Train: A Novel
Author: Christina Baker Kline
Publisher: Morrow, 2013
Source: personal copy
I bought a lovely paperback edition of this book at Malaprop’s Book Store in Ashville. The deckled edges and easy-to-read print made both beauty and functionality. A Short History of the Real Orphan Trains and a Reading Group Guide appear after the text of the novel.
The story of a child of the orphan trains, who is taken from New York to Minnesota in 1929, and a modern day orphan in Maine fit together like two parts of the same puzzle. But these two lives and their stories are separate. Both grip the reader. The author balances the two stories well. There are lessons in second chances, cross-generational friendship and learning to live well. Most readers will be so caught up in the story, they will not feel like it teaches lessons. But events in the narrative may well cause the reader to stop and think about living and more. How much have times and conditions changed from 1929 to the present?
Here are two more questions to think about as you read this book. How does the seventeen-year-old Molly impact the life of ninety-year-old Vivian? Vivian’s claddagh cross is with her throughout her story. What is its role? How does it contribute?
As I read this book, I found myself thinking differently about the meaning of the word ghost. I wonder if you will feel that way too.
The narrative holds the reader, reels you in and you are on the line until the last page. I absolutely recommend it to others. Thank you to the friend that recommended it to me. It deserves its continuing place on the best seller list.
Please share your thoughts on this novel.