“People who matter in our lives stay with us, haunting our most ordinary moments. They’re with us in the grocery store, as we turn a corner, chat with a friend. They rise up through the pavement; we absorb them through our souls.”
Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. It feels like summer already, and I’m really sad that winter is over, because I’m definitely not a summer person for sure, but I like when the sun hit my window, and makes my room so bright. Anyway, last week I read Orphan Train, and it took me three days to finish it. It’s really a short book that I think you can read in one sitting, because the story is gripping and beyond emotional. Without further ado, let’s review this book!
This book is set in 1854 where orphaned children were transported by one of the Orphan Trains from the city to the country for better adoption opportunities. Not all of those kids found a loving and kind family, and one of them was Vivian, who’s now a widow living alone in a huge house. One day, Vivian asks her housekeeper to hire someone to clean her attic, then after a couple of days, her housekeeper brings Molly, a 17 year old girl who’s had her fair share of bad foster home experiences, and now she’s living with Dina and Ralph who are only fostering her because of the money they get. Because of the fact that Molly has stolen a book from the library, she is now in a real trouble, and she has to do community service, otherwise she’ll get in juvie. So when her boyfriend tells her about working for Vivian, she immediately agrees. However, Molly and Vivian will bond together in a way they never thought they would, which will help them find the true meaning of family, love, and friendship, through telling their stories to each other.
This book was honestly an insightful and heartbreaking story about the Orphan Train movement, which I’ve never heard about before, until I’ve read this book. So many children were only adopted to work as servants or to help in the farm. They were treated abusively, deprived of food, and didn’t even go to school to get a proper education. And that made me feel so sad, because it’s based on a true story. I can’t even imagine how that felt like. To be treated like you are someone who doesn’t matter when you’re just a kid and not be taken care of. It’s so disheartening. The writing style is very simple, yet so deep and very emotional. And it’s one of those stories that will stay with you. I didn’t expect to fall in love with it, but I did.
The story is told through two perspectives, in the present and in the past. Molly tells her story in the present, and we get to know her personality, her family, and her boyfriend. She’s very stubborn, always gets in some kind of trouble, and she’s also a bookworm. She loves reading, but she doesn’t want everyone to know that about her. And the most thing I like about her is that she speaks her mind. I just like when people say what they’re thinking. I have to admit that Molly is hard to like, but I totally understand why she acts very tough, and doesn’t let her guard down to anyone. I mean honestly, who blames her? On the other hand, Vivian told her story in the past, and she also talked about her traumatic childhood, and how she was abused and treated so badly. I kind of sympathized with Vivian more than Molly, and I was really moved by what she went through. I just loved her chapters, because I was so eager to learn more about her, and how she got through her hard past.
Orphan Train is a page turner and inspiring story about two different characters who have so many things in common, despite their age differences. They faced many misfortunes in their lives, but they were courageous enough to fight and get through so many awful moments to live and have a better life. They helped each other and changed each other’s life for the better. To wrap up my review, this story is so powerful and an eye opening, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.