Different Drummer

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions,perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." ~Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Orphan Train

“I like the assumption that everyone is trying his best, and we should all just be kind to each other.” 
― Christina Baker KlineOrphan Train

We met at Ann's home Thursday, March 26th to discuss  Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline

We all enjoyed reading Oprhan Train.  The book is about a young girl, Vivian, whose family leaves Ireland and immigrates to New York.  Vivian loses her family in a fire and is sent to the Midwest with hundreds of other orphans to be adopted or to live with a family to help them either on the farm, in a factory or store. The story intertwines with another young woman's life, Molly, who is also an orphan and has spent time in different foster homes.  Molly goes to help Vivian clean her attack, to fulfill her community service requirement,  and the two become friends as they learn that they really have more in common than they ever could have guessed.  It is a beautiful story of the resilience, courage and strength of the human spirit under daunting circumstances and the power that love has to change our lives.

So is it just human nature to believe that things happen for a reason - to find some shred of meaning even in the worst experiences?” 
― Christina Baker KlineOrphan Train

We discussed how resilient people have to be with life circumstances and how we don't know another person's story, their trials, challenges, and mountains they have climbed until we take the time to get to know them and become their friend.  Understanding always increases as we get to know and understand a little better the distant miles another person has traveled to get where they are at that point of time.
This is a photo of one of the Orphan Trains from Christina Baker Kline's web site

“It is good to test your limits now and then, learn what the body is capable of, what you can endure.” 
― Christina Baker KlineOrphan Train

“And so it is that you learn how to pass, if you're lucky, to look like everyone else, even though you're broken inside.” 
― Christina Baker KlineOrphan Train

This book is historical fiction.  The author, Christina Baker Kline was visiting in North Dakota one winter and they were snowed in for a few days.  She read an article about Orphan Trains and learned that over 200,000 orphaned or vagrant children were sent from New York to the mid west from 1854 through 1929.  Over the next ten years she researched, talked to the few remaining orphans who came west on the train who were at that time in their 90s and learned their stories.  She then created a fictional story about Vivian and Molly. More about the book and Christina Kline can be found at:
http://christinabakerkline.com/ Other fiction books the author has written are:

  1. Bird in Hand, 
  2. The Way LIfe Should Be
  3. Desire Lines
  4. Sweet Water
  1. About Face
  2. Child of Mine
  3. Room to Grow
  4. The Conversation Begins

“My entire life has felt like chance. Random moments of loss and connection. This is the first one that feels, instead, like fate.” 
― Christina Baker KlineOrphan Train

"You can’t find peace until you find all the pieces. She wants to help Vivian find some kind of peace, elusive and fleeting as it may be.” 
― Christina Baker KlineOrphan Train

“I’ve come to think that’s what heaven is—a place in the memory of others where our best selves live on.” 
― Christina Baker KlineOrphan Train

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