Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.jpgThe story of Irish immigrants to NY tenements in the 1920s. Parents and siblings die in a fire so Niamh/Dorothy/Vivian at age 9 is loaded onto the orphan train and sent to the mid-west for hopeful adoption which generally becomes indentured servitude. The story is told as 1929-1943 flashbacks as the 91 year old Vivian is telling her story in 2011 to a contemporary participant in foster care. Parts of the story have a somewhat predictable Charles Dickensian feel, especially of the sad story of hopeless and cruel care at ages 9-10 but overall this is a very satisfying read.