Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Orphan Train

by Christina Baker Kline

Molly is a 17-year old on the verge of aging out of the foster care system. Throughout her time in DHS she has been shuffled from home to home and as a result has developed a bit of an attitude and a reputation for being difficult. In this, her last house, she gets into a bit of trouble and is required to perform community service. To fulfill this demand in her small town, she is assigned to clean out the attic of the town's wealthy old recluse. As Molly sorts through boxes, she digs up Vivian's past and the two hit it off when they discover how much they have in common. Vivian shares the story of her life as an Irish orphan during the depression in NYC and being shipped off on an Orphan Train to Minnesota.

There's a lot of interesting information in this book about how orphans were handled as our government started getting involved. There's also a hint of the life of children going through DHS and the foster care system today, but I wish this aspect had been further explored and developed. I have a particular interest in this subject as a board member for Lilyfield whose mission is to provide stable and loving families for children in need. The latest project has been to provide support for girls aging out of the system.

Anyway, regarding the story, it was pretty predictable, but a decent read on a cold day, sitting by the fire with your hot chocolate!

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