Kline, Christina Baker. Orphan Train: A Novel. New York: William Morrow, 2013. Print.
There seems to be a trend in my reading pattern this year. This is the second book I've read that the characters' stories alternate and then come together. Unlike All the Light We Cannot See where the characters' stories run in a parallel time, the main characters in this book mirror each other's stories because there is a wide gap in age between the two main characters.
Another trend I'm seeing this year is what I will call Book Within a Book. In this title, the characters have Jane Eyre and Anne of Green Gables.
Both Molly and Vivian are orphans. Molly was caught stealing a book, so she must do community service hours as punishment. Vivian's attic becomes the community service project. Molly is to help the aging Vivian clean out and organize the contents. When Molly pulls something out of a box, Vivian's memories take over the story and the reader learns why these mementoes are being kept.
The bulk of this book is Vivian's memories of the life she lived. The reader doesn't see as much of Molly's life because it's still to be lived.
"My entire life has felt like chance. Random moments of loss and connection" (Kline 235).
Even though this story is fiction, the actual orphan trains did run. It was interesting to think about how many lives, how many stories, how many different paths those trains changed.
I took notes as I read. I enjoyed the revelations of Vivian's story. I felt the helplessness she felt in her various situations. I was thankful that Miss Larsen was in Vivian's life!
This will be a book I read again. It's my book club's read this month.
Title reference on page 29.