I’m often amazed at how little history I know. Sure I’ve got a working knowledge of the big events. The big wars. The big men and women who shaped history. And yet, truth be told, those are usually not the events and people that most fascinate me. I’m drawn in by those who were forgotten. The quiet heros. The stories that didn’t get told. The people and events that didn’t make the history books. Christina Baker Kline has given us such a story with this month’s book club selection, ORPHAN TRAIN. And we are very thankful to her for doing so.
The generous folks at William Morrow publishers are giving away ten copies of ORPHAN TRAIN to our readers this month. (U.S. residents only) Just leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win. And as always we’ll be doing a Twitter chat with the author and discussing the book with our online book club at the end of the month. We’d love you to join us for both.
About the novel:
Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by luck or chance. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?
As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.
Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.
Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.
Christina Baker Kline is a novelist, nonfiction writer and editor. In addition to Orphan Train, her novels include Bird in Hand, The Way Life Should Be, Desire Lines and Sweet Water. She is Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University and an on-staff editor and writing coach at the social networking site SheWrites.com.
About Ariel Lawhon
Ariel Lawhon is the co-founder of She Reads, novelist, blogger, storyteller, and life-long reader. She lives in Texas with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.