Whose story line did you like best and why?

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

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KAV
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Whose story line did you like best and why?

Post by KAV » 06 Jul 2016, 18:23

I like Vivian's story better because I felt it was more detailed and emotional. I kept looking forward to her chapters and found Molly's chapters kind of boring and lack luster. I also found that Dina was pretty annoying in Molly's story line. I'm sure fostering teenagers is difficult, but I think she needed to be a little more supportive. I mean she did agree to foster children. Kids are bound to have issues being bounced around from house to house. Although stealing an old book is still wrong its not like Molly was starting fires or killing animals.
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Post by bookowlie » 06 Jul 2016, 21:56

I totally agree. I felt that Molly's storyline was more of a plot device to connect the Orphan Train plot to the present, and didn't shine like Vivian's story.
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Post by e-tasana-williams » 06 Jul 2016, 22:25

I'm in agreement with bookowlie and KAV. Molly's story lacked the drama and engagement that Niamh's story had. Perhaps this was necessarily so? I too was annoyed by Dina's character. She seemed overly immature to have chosen to be a foster parent. Yes, there are foster parents who decide to take children into their home solely for the money involved, but Dina's obvious disgust for Molly and her overall antagonistic behavior seemed over the top.
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Post by Gravy » 06 Jul 2016, 22:33

:ditto:
"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."

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Post by Lulubelle » 07 Jul 2016, 00:33

I agree with all the above. I think Molly was also just there for comparison e.g. Molly complaining about her lack of vegetarian options while Vivian was lucky to eat anything. I skimmed the Molly parts to get back to the main story of Vivian.

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Post by gali » 07 Jul 2016, 09:37

I agree as well. I much preferred Molly's storyline and found it more interesting.
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Post by ashley_claire » 07 Jul 2016, 09:57

I agree that Vivian's story was the better half of the book. Molly has had it rough and she's a teenager, meaning that some attitude is to be expected. But I found her immature and I wasn't able to understand the motivations behind some of her decisions. This is probably the reason I really didn't connect with her storyline.

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Post by CatInTheHat » 07 Jul 2016, 14:29

I enjoyed Vivian's story more, primarily because of the connections to our nation's history. Many people don't realize these things happened, less than a century ago. Her character was also more developed.
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Post by KAV » 09 Jul 2016, 11:27

Lulubelle wrote:I agree with all the above. I think Molly was also just there for comparison e.g. Molly complaining about her lack of vegetarian options while Vivian was lucky to eat anything. I skimmed the Molly parts to get back to the main story of Vivian.
True. I didn't even make that connection, but I like the comparison. I tended to skim the Molly parts too. :)
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Post by braver » 13 Jul 2016, 08:13

bookowlie wrote:I totally agree. I felt that Molly's storyline was more of a plot device to connect the Orphan Train plot to the present, and didn't shine like Vivian's story.
Yes, definitely. Molly was a plot device to tell Vivian's story. Molly's story wouldn't stand on its own, but when you think about it in that frame of reference, I think it worked really well. I definitely agree that Dina was over the top and unbelievable - I think if she had been toned down a little it would have been even better.
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Post by bookowlie » 13 Jul 2016, 22:14

CatInTheHat wrote:I enjoyed Vivian's story more, primarily because of the connections to our nation's history. Many people don't realize these things happened, less than a century ago. Her character was also more developed.
Good point! That's why I have started enjoying historical fiction more in the past few years. I like learning about something new about different periods in history. It's certainly more interesting to learn this information through a novel than a boring textbook. :)
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Post by klbradley » 14 Jul 2016, 07:26

I found that I enjoyed reading Vivian's story more, and looked forward reading about her chapters. I really enjoyed hearing about Vivian's life and then hearing how things would circle back around. I did enjoy reading about Molly as well, but I felt like the point of her story was to help tell Vivian's.
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Post by MsMartha » 15 Jul 2016, 14:03

I liked both Molly and Vivian. The fact that they had some similar experiences was pretty interesting, considering how many years apart their ages were--I'd like to think we would improve a little over time, but it doesn't always happen.
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Post by Laura19804 » 15 Jul 2016, 16:23

I personally think that Molly's story was put in to highlight Vivian's through its similarities and shocking differences. I know Molly's story was not as bad as some modern orphans story's could be (and I feel this is done with brilliant and deliberate thought) the fact that they had a similar past but the worst that Molly went through was that her foster mum moaned about her vegetarian diet, and gave her clothes she didn't like (and yes was annoying but not horrendous,) the contrast made vivians story sharper

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Post by klbradley » 15 Jul 2016, 21:12

I agree with Laura19804. Molly's story seems to be there to give more of an effect to Vivian's story and have a reason for it to be told.
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