ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline & GIVEAWAY


I must be one of the very few who didn’t read Christina Baker Kline’s, ORPHAN TRAIN (WilliamMorrow) when it was first published in 2013. I recently received a paperback and after reading it was astonished! This really happened? What an incredible story about part of the fabric of the United States between 1929-1943; something I’d never heard about and I’m sure I’m not alone.

Not until the 1930s, were there social programs to help parents who couldn’t afford to take care of their children, so they put them in orphanages or they ended up homeless. A Midwesterner named Charles Loring Brace believed hard work, education and firm, but compassionate child rearing, especially midwestern Christian values was the only way to save these children from a life of depravity and poverty and he founded the “Orphan Train Program.” Between 1854-1929, children from eastern cities were put on trains to the farmlands of the country with very few belongings. At whistle stops they were paraded before potential parents for adoption. All the would-be parents had to promise was to raise these children in “good Christian homes.” Many were picked over – teeth, eyes and limbs to see if they were strong enough for field work and ended up as child slave labor and suffered through unimaginable cruelty.

ORPHAN TRAIN tells the fictional story of 91 year-old, Vivian Daly, who keeps part of her past a shameful secret and troubled 17 year-old, Molly Ayers on the verge of aging out of foster care. Vivian and Molly are put together in an unusual situation, becoming friends and finding answers to their long-buried secrets.

Alternating between modern-day Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, ORPHAN TRAIN is a compelling novel of second chances, and unexpected friendship. I just fell into the novel and Baker-Klein’s brilliant prose and gobbled up every page. It was such an enjoyable experience. Even through the difficult experiences, love and hope were the emotions that I took from reading ORPHAN TRAIN. I am grateful for learning about this part of history and know this book will have me thinking for a long time.

I suggest curling up in a comfy chair with a nice cup of tea to read this novel.


Also included in the paperback version is an unanswered question readers ask about ORPHAN TRAIN, as well as a sneak peek at Cristina Baker Kline’s new novel, A PIECE OF THE WORLD.  It is a fictional story based on the famous Christina painting by Andrew Wyeth, which will be published next month.


Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon

About Christina Baker Kline

Christina Baker Kline is the author of five novels. She lives out-side of New York City and on the coast of Maine. Find out more about Kline at her website, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.


Thanks to TLC Book Tours http://www.tlcbooktours.com and William Morrow, we have one copy of ORPHAN TRAIN to giveaway. Just tell us if you  have read or heard about ORPHAN TRAIN and your thoughts.

We’ll announce a winner Monday.

19 thoughts on “ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline & GIVEAWAY

  1. Growing up, in small town Kansas, one of the most heralded science teachers and strong presence in our church, was a man who was raised by a family that gave him a second chance as he was a child from the “Orphan Trains.” He highly commended, that the man he became, was in large part to the family that took him in. I admired him before I even found out he had grown up under those circumstances. He was strong in his faith, he was extremely tall and with a low booming voice, and he was the type of person that you respected by his mere presence alone.

    Every since I found out he was a member of the Orphan Trains, I usually perk up and read what I can find regarding them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have read some of Christina Baker Kline’s other work but just haven’t managed to get to The Orphan Train yet. It sounds like such a poignant story and another fascinating part of history. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have not read this book yet, but definitely plan to. I saw a FB interview with the author this morning and was so impressed by the amount of research she completed. Historical fictions are my favorite genre and this book looks so well written and a very moving read.
    Thank you for the great giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you to everyone who has been leaving comments! Our readers make working on this blog really worth it. xxx


  5. I personally have never heard of Orphan Train but it sounds really good! I’m kind of new to the love of reading and I keep going through very specific stages first all mysteries now lots and lots of fiction! I love when I see books like this and they catch my attention because it reminds me there are SO many more options out there to read!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.