One of the books this year for my book club was Orphan train and, thanks to Allison, who sent me a copy two years ago, I have read the original version.
The book was very popular when it was published and I have very little to add to the wonderful reviews I’ve read (here you can read Allison’s), so I have decided to write about the scenes I liked the most in this story and the feelings arisen while reading:
1) The comfort Vivian found in the school she attended to when living with a poor and miserable family in the country. I liked the character of the teacher, a young woman who represents all those teachers in rural areas who knew that the children were expected to little more than learning to read and write, so then they can help in the farms, escaping from the very thing that could made them live a better life: education. Despite the circumstances, they welcomed the children every day with a smile, trying to make the school a place for them to enjoy, a refuge to act as the children they still were.
2) The feeling of finding someone who knows the real “you”; someone with whom you don’t have to pretend. Vivian has lived in different places, with different families, her name changed a couple of times… But after some time she reunites with a boy from her childhood, and the bond they have makes her feel like she has finally found a place to call home. It’s very romantic!
3) These peculiar beliefs we experience regarding objects: we rely on objects that make us feel safe, when in fact we are the ones responsible for our own safety and happiness. In the book, Vivian and Molly, in the past and the present, have amulets they don’t want to get rid of because they think that otherwise they will forget their roots. It’s not possible to forget certain people or memories, but still, we hang on things which represent them.
This is a book written to be loved by the readers – a story based on true but not well known events of the past, and a lovely child as main character to touch our hearts. Highly recommended.
Cristina Baker Kline
Published by William Morrow Papaerbacks