Book #43 for my 2015 Reading Challenge is this wonderful piece of historical fiction.
I never heard of orphan trains until I saw it on Goodreads. Apparently, about 200,000 homeless children from crowded cities in the US were put on these trains to find new families in the West. These children are then paraded in every train stops where people who are willing to adopt can check and question them. Those selected children will go with their new foster parents right then and there as soon as the paper works are done. Those who weren’t lucky enough to be chosen will re-board the train and try their “luck” in the next stop. Vivian, an Irish immigrant, was one of those children.
In this fictional tale, Vivian at 91, forms an unlikely friendship with Molly who is several decades younger than her. Their stories are interwoven together and thus came this beautiful book.
The writing was simple and the dual storyline was well-applied. It certainly kept my interest from start to finish. (And I love the book cover!)
Favorite quotes : “I am not glad she is dead, but I am not sorry she is gone.”
“You got to learn to take what people are willing to give.”
“I like the assumption that everyone is trying his best, and we should all just be kind to each other.”
“I learned long ago that loss is not only probable but inevitable. I know what it means to lose everything, to let go of one life and find another. And now I feel, with a strange, deep certainty, that it must be my lot in life to be taught that lesson over and over again.”
“So is it just human nature to believe that things happen for a reason – to find some shred of meaning even in the worst experiences?”
Rating : 5/5 stars