Orphan Train *** (3/5)
Christina Baker Kline - Fiction
Orphan Train was an interesting read and definitely kept me engaged through to the very end but I found Molly, a teenage girl trapped in the shuffle of the foster care system, to be very flat and one dimensional. Totally an unnecessary character to the story as a whole.
While I see the connection Baker created between Molly and Vivian, I think Vivian's story itself is more than enough to sustain an entertaining and meaningful experience for the reader. I just didn't see any added value to Molly's character, especially not the back and forth between Vivian's life and Molly's. The ping-ponging between characters was not only a bit cumbersome to follow, but it could easily cause someone to put the novel down without really getting a true feel for the book.
Orphan Train portrays a period in history that I am so thankful to have not experienced first hand. The reality that children were treated like cattle, boarded onto trains, lined up and picked for their working features rather than to become members of a family is beyond me. Children no older than 10 forced to work as farm hands doing manual labor and sleeping on hay bales along side cattle is absurd and heartbreaking.
It's an emotional read for sure, but I really did enjoy learning about Vivian and her journey right up until the very end. I just wish Molly's character had been less prominent and more of Vivian's story had been told.
Other Books By Christina Baker Kline
An avid reader with a thirst for knowledge, and adventure through words printed on paper.
Books Read in 2020
*The Tattooist of Auschwitz