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Sarah's Library

I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad).  The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.

Currently reading

The Last Honeytrap
Louise Lee
Progress: 100/346 pages
Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline

1/2 - Despite early worries about grammar and clumsy phrasing Orphan Train is turning out to be a pretty reasonable book.  A solid 3.5, maybe 4 depending on the ending.  Molly is irritating, but probably true-to-life for a perpetual foster child - can't accept kindness from anyone without looking for ulterior motives behind the gesture, likes to hold onto her anger as if it's a living thing that might be the only thing to keep her company as she's shuffled from family to family.  Niamh/Dorothy is harder to define, so far, but the idea of losing your whole family in the blink of an eye at such a young age (or really, any age) is heart wrenching.  Not only that, to find yourself in a foreign country without any family, cared (and I use the term loosely) for by a pair of charity workers who, while not monsters, aren't particularly kind either just makes me thankful for the time I live in and the extended family I know I can always count on if the worst happened.


I predicted Dutchy's return (in my head as I was reading) as a love interest and was happy to be proved right - and then

Kline had to go and kill him.

(show spoiler)

Hadn't Niamh/Dorothy/Vivian been through enough

without making her a widowed pregnant woman who gives up her child for adoption and marries her husband's best friend but refuses to have any further children with her new husband because she can't bear the memories of the child she gave away?

(show spoiler)

Obviously not, Kline decided Vivian needed just a little bit more pain and misery to make her connection with Molly stronger and more believable.  I would have believed their relationship without quite so much misery - it just felt cruel to Vivian and the reader (I had tears in my eyes at one point).  I liked the feeling of the end, hopeful yet realistic - not a fairy tale ending with Vivian and her daughter running into each other's arms while the musical crescendo played, but still happy with both women wanting to meet the other with no animosity in their hearts for the way things turned out in their lives.


I'm really glad that I decided to overlook the author's temporary madness in responding to another reviewers' review because Orphan Train was a very good book, with a very interesting premise that's made me want to read more about the Orphan Trains in a non-fiction format.  Normally, I wouldn't bother with a book where the author has made the choice to argue with a reviewer about their opinion of the book because I just can't be bothered with the drama or the bad books that authors of that kind tend to write (it seems to go that the worse the book, the more sensitive the author).  In order to make up my own mind about whether or not to read Orphan Train I read the 'offending' review and the subsequent comment thread (including Kline's response) and came to the hopeful (but hopefully not naïve) conclusion that Kline's comment was just a one-time brain fart which won't lead to future fangirl/boy/sockpuppet lead flame wars with any reviewer who doesn't like her writing.