If you have been looking for another book with a similar storyline to “The Flight of Gemma Hardy” then you would be more than satisfied with “Orphan Train.” Split into two parts, the novel focused on Molly who suffers through the juvenile system in the present, and Vivian an orphan in the 1930’s. I preferred reading Vivian’s story and was absolutely taken with the horrific situation that was known as an orphan train. Cloaked under the auspices of doing good, the orphan train was nothing more than a mechanism to place orphans with families who were largely ill-equipped to care for youngsters and did nothing to foster their well being.
The writing was great and easily portrayed the plight of both unwanted women. The characters were realistic, I loved and hated them! Vivian’s resilient spirit was a beacon of hope amidst her tragic story as an orphan. Thought of as nothing more than free labor, it was beyond difficult for Vivian to continue her education and lead a mentally healthy life in the homes where she was placed. The author used Vivian’s life to promote the theme that life will be what you make of it regardless of uncontrollable situations during childhood. That ideology was presented through Vivian’s determination and the way she lived her life after leaving the foster system. Molly’s storyline was a bit generic and predictable, and really only served the limited purpose of prompting Vivian’s story. The ending was quick and too convenient for me. I felt that the author just wanted to end the story regardless of whether it would make sense against the rest of the book.
But still, this was a good book that was entertaining.