Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline


Published: 2013
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: Paperback
Page count: 294

Orphan Train was provided by Harper Collins 360 in return for an honest review.

Orphan train highlights a (surprisingly) little known time between 1954 and 1929 when thousands of children were steamed across America to be lined up in front of perspective "parents" in the hopes of finding a new hom

I use the term parents loosely as many of the children seemed to be treated as free slave labor.

The story is told from the perspective of Molly in 2011 and Niamh from 1929 to 1943.

I can see that the author was trying to do. I get that we are supposed to see that even though Niamh and Molly come from different times that they share a similar past. It just didn't work that well for me. I don't think Molly's story really added anything meaningful. We don't really get to know her so I didn't really care for her parts in the story.

On the other hand I did enjoy reading Niamh's parts. It was hard enough for her impoverished families to move half way around the world. For children to then loose the only support they had is just unthinkable.

Toddlers and babies had to deal with being taken towards an unknown future on the orphan trains. Not knowing whether anyone will want them. Then if they are wanted, what are they wanted for?

What I found particularly disturbing how the families felt the need to change a child's name because it didn't sounds right or sounded too catholic or Irish subsequently erasing that child's identity. This happened to Niamh multiple times. The few kind people that she is lucky enough to meet in her life lead her on a path to happiness. A path that will take her back to the original orphan train journey she took all those years before

I think personally I would have enjoyed more of Niamh's story. especially after the 20 years mentioned in the book. It's a quick and easy read. Something to have in between the heavier reads I've been getting into.

I can possibly see this being made into a movie. I think it actually may work better on screen?


3.5 / 5

Follow on Bloglovin
Follow on Bloglovin

1 comment:

  1. I'm fascinated by the orphan train thing! I hadn't heard much about it
    until recently- it was in the backstory for one of the characters in
    Swamplandia! This sounds good!

    Duracell powercase review


Thank you for taking the time to read/comment on my page!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...