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Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Discuss the July 2016 Book of the Month, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.

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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#46 by jayharris
» 21 Jul 2016, 01:02

I look forward to giving it a read.
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#47 by HoldenCaufieldsMom
» 22 Jul 2016, 11:43

It was an amazing book and seemed to be historically accurate. The author was able to open reader's up to a historical time period by tying it in with the present. It's amazing to see how the past and present are polar opposites, but come together and create bonds between two dichotomous people. It really opened me up to learning about the Irish potato famine from an immigrant's point of view, versus my own American point of view.
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#48 by lolashoes
» 24 Jul 2016, 03:35

I enjoyed the wild ride of rollercoaster of emotions this story evoked in me. A great read!
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#49 by linekela
» 24 Jul 2016, 07:33

I loved it soo much but left me with more questions I wanted to read the meet of Vivian and Sarah. Like their first hug and encounter. The book is very captivating though and rank higher on my lost
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#50 by Momlovesbooks
» 24 Jul 2016, 20:32

I enjoyed learning about a piece of history I was unfamiliar with. I enjoyed Vivian's flashbacks. They were heartfelt and emotional. It was hard to imagine the fear, loneliness, and heartache so many orphans experienced during that time. I agree that the ending seemed a little too neat and convenient. Overall, I liked that Vivian (and Molly) had a happy ending, considering so many of the orphan train children probably did not fare as well.
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#51 by shuffman2009
» 25 Jul 2016, 12:56

I really liked this book. I would rank it a 4 out of 4 stars. I loved the back and forth in the narrative and how the two stories came together. And it was a learning experience for me. Before reading this book I didn't even know there was such a thing as an orphan train. Seeing how this experience is so much like todays foster care system and delving into the not so pretty side of that world was interesting. The bond that Sarah and Vivian share is unlike any other and the way they come together is so unique, it makes you want to go talk to the old lady down the road for a bit.

I would highly recommend this book!
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#52 by Serena [Poetree]
» 27 Jul 2016, 12:27

This book reminded me why I love historical fiction. I've gotten so tired of all of the historical romances that I hardly ever read historical novels at all any more! Vivian's story, of course, was my favorite. I didn't know anything about orphan trains before reading this book--it opened up a whole new piece of our country's past to me. And I loved the parallel that Molly's story drew, enabling us to compare the current foster system with what Vivian experienced. While things have improved, they certainly aren't perfect. However, I did feel that Molly was a bit cliche, and as others have said, the ending didn't quite sit well with me. It seemed too easy, and a bit rushed, perhaps. Did I cry? Absolutely.

Despite its shortcomings, I would heartily recommend Orphan Train to just about anyone! It falls into the categories of both contemporary and historical, and it tells a beautiful story that, though labeled fiction, describes the lives of so many people.
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#53 by bookowlie
» 30 Jul 2016, 08:41

Serena [Poetree] wrote:This book reminded me why I love historical fiction. I've gotten so tired of all of the historical romances that I hardly ever read historical novels at all any more! Vivian's story, of course, was my favorite. I didn't know anything about orphan trains before reading this book--it opened up a whole new piece of our country's past to me. And I loved the parallel that Molly's story drew, enabling us to compare the current foster system with what Vivian experienced. While things have improved, they certainly aren't perfect. However, I did feel that Molly was a bit cliche, and as others have said, the ending didn't quite sit well with me. It seemed too easy, and a bit rushed, perhaps. Did I cry? Absolutely.

Despite its shortcomings, I would heartily recommend Orphan Train to just about anyone! It falls into the categories of both contemporary and historical, and it tells a beautiful story that, though labeled fiction, describes the lives of so many people.


Good points! The book was a great example of historical fiction - bringing history to life in an interesting story instead of a cheesy romance set in the past. I loved learning about the orphan trains, something I knew nothing about.

I agree with you that the ending felt rushed and tied up a little too neatly.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#54 by TrishaAnn92
» 02 Aug 2016, 16:27

I am about a quarter of the way through it and have really enjoyed it so far. I have been able to sink in it more easily than I have with other books like it.
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#55 by Insomniac07
» 04 Aug 2016, 12:05

This was a 4 out of 4 stars book for me. Yes, I'd have liked the end to have changed a bit. In my opinion, the novel should have ended with Vivian telling Molly that she'd consider looking for her daughter provided she helped her in the search. But apart from that, I loved everything else. The characters were easy to identify with, the plot was coherent and interesting, and the writing was beautiful.
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#56 by Lovely_Loreley
» 05 Aug 2016, 13:13

I was initially drawn to this book based on the premise. I knew only a little about the orphan trains, so I was interested in learning more from that. And like Molly, I've also done community service helping other people clean out their houses. We've definitely found some interesting old heirlooms and I've heard a lot of stories, some sad, others happy, most giving a unique insight into certain bits of history. Hearing first-hand (or second-hand, depending on whether the tales were passed down from older relatives) accounts is so much better than learning from a textbook! I've always been drawn to historical fiction, and this book was no disappointment :)
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#57 by hsimone
» 10 Aug 2016, 08:11

Like others have mentioned, I don't think I ever really knew about orphan trains prior to reading this book. Therefore, I appreciate being able to learn about them and experience some of the hardships children faced.

I ended up giving this book a 3/4 star rating due to a couple of reasons. I felt some of Molly's background was out of place with the story. I'm not sure if I wanted more to balance the two stories or less to let Vivian's story shine more. Also, I felt Vivian's last chapter in her early years to have been rushed. There was so much that happened: Finding Dutchy, getting engaged, pregnant, he's off to war, he dies, gives up her baby for adoption...Maybe it was meant to be a snapshot of early twenties, but I think I still would've liked it to be a bit slower.

Overall, I'm happy Orphan Train was July's BOTM. It was very enjoyable!
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#58 by bookowlie
» 10 Aug 2016, 22:57

hsimone wrote:Like others have mentioned, I don't think I ever really knew about orphan trains prior to reading this book. Therefore, I appreciate being able to learn about them and experience some of the hardships children faced.

I ended up giving this book a 3/4 star rating due to a couple of reasons. I felt some of Molly's background was out of place with the story. I'm not sure if I wanted more to balance the two stories or less to let Vivian's story shine more. Also, I felt Vivian's last chapter in her early years to have been rushed. There was so much that happened: Finding Dutchy, getting engaged, pregnant, he's off to war, he dies, gives up her baby for adoption...Maybe it was meant to be a snapshot of early twenties, but I think I still would've liked it to be a bit slower.

Overall, I'm happy Orphan Train was July's BOTM. It was very enjoyable!


Good points. I agree that there was a rushed timeline at a certain point for Vivian's story. When I have recommended this book to others, I tell them it's a really good book about a unique topic in history. I also tell them it was a very good book that would have been great in the hands of another author. I liked it very much, but I felt it was less than wonderful.
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#59 by gali
» 10 Aug 2016, 23:00

bookowlie wrote:
hsimone wrote:Like others have mentioned, I don't think I ever really knew about orphan trains prior to reading this book. Therefore, I appreciate being able to learn about them and experience some of the hardships children faced.

I ended up giving this book a 3/4 star rating due to a couple of reasons. I felt some of Molly's background was out of place with the story. I'm not sure if I wanted more to balance the two stories or less to let Vivian's story shine more. Also, I felt Vivian's last chapter in her early years to have been rushed. There was so much that happened: Finding Dutchy, getting engaged, pregnant, he's off to war, he dies, gives up her baby for adoption...Maybe it was meant to be a snapshot of early twenties, but I think I still would've liked it to be a bit slower.

Overall, I'm happy Orphan Train was July's BOTM. It was very enjoyable!


Good points. I agree that there was a rushed timeline at a certain point for Vivian's story. When I have recommended this book to others, I tell them it's a really good book about a unique topic in history. I also tell them it was a very good book that would have been great in the hands of another author. I liked it very much, but I felt it was less than wonderful.


I agree! I loved the book despite its shortcomings though and rated it 4 stars. 8)
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post Number:#60 by hsimone
» 11 Aug 2016, 05:52

bookowlie wrote:
hsimone wrote:Like others have mentioned, I don't think I ever really knew about orphan trains prior to reading this book. Therefore, I appreciate being able to learn about them and experience some of the hardships children faced.

I ended up giving this book a 3/4 star rating due to a couple of reasons. I felt some of Molly's background was out of place with the story. I'm not sure if I wanted more to balance the two stories or less to let Vivian's story shine more. Also, I felt Vivian's last chapter in her early years to have been rushed. There was so much that happened: Finding Dutchy, getting engaged, pregnant, he's off to war, he dies, gives up her baby for adoption...Maybe it was meant to be a snapshot of early twenties, but I think I still would've liked it to be a bit slower.

Overall, I'm happy Orphan Train was July's BOTM. It was very enjoyable!


Good points. I agree that there was a rushed timeline at a certain point for Vivian's story. When I have recommended this book to others, I tell them it's a really good book about a unique topic in history. I also tell them it was a very good book that would have been great in the hands of another author. I liked it very much, but I felt it was less than wonderful.


Thank you, bookowlie. I definitely enjoyed the historical aspect of the book, and was glad that I had the chance to read it. I haven't had the chance to recommend it to anyone yet, but I would be curious on what some of other book friends would think of it.

-- 11 Aug 2016, 12:54 --

gali wrote:
I agree! I loved the book despite its shortcomings though and rated it 4 stars. 8)


Definitely was a read that I'm happy I gave it a try! :)
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