Author: Christina Baker Kline
Genre: Contemporary, Historical
The author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be delivers her most ambitious and powerful novel to date: a captivating story of two very different women who build an unexpected friendship: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever thought to ask.
Nearly eighteen, Molly Ayer knows she has one last chance. Just months from "aging out" of the child welfare system, and close to being kicked out of her foster home, a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvie and worse.
Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.
The closer Molly grows to Vivian, the more she discovers parallels to her own life. A Penobscot Indian, she, too, is an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. As her emotional barriers begin to crumble, Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life - answers that will ultimately free them both.
Before I start can we all take a moment to appreciate how lovely this cover is?! I love the bars on the left side because it gives the effect of a train door and it just looks amazing! Plus the copy I have is hardback so it actually feels like I'm opening a train door omg it's beautiful >.<
I have a love-hate relationship with this book. I enjoyed the story-line and how each chapter switched between Molly and Vivian. I felt like this book was a real eye-opener and I feel like I've learned a lot. This book made me realise how lucky I am and how cruel the world can be sometimes... But it does have a lovely ending! There's a lot of history weaved in these pages and I enjoyed that since I like history anyway.
However the book was a little heavy and overall, not much happened. I didn't want to put the book down however there was not much to the story. I found this book quite slow... although a lot happened and I did read it quickly. The chapters were long but not a lot happened in them.
I liked how the narrator changed between the characters, but I didn't like how the tense changed between third person and first person. (See what I am... Love-hate relationship here!)
This novel started off really well. The beginning was powerful and upsetting but made me want to read on. But as I got nearer the middle of the book I felt that curiousness disappear and I didn't really want to read on... But I also didn't want to stop reading...
Overall I think this book had its ups and downs. The writing didn't keep me intrigued yet the story was powerful. I think the idea of this book was probably better than it is written down. I wouldn't recommend it but if you're just looking for a new and unique book to read, this is it :)
My entire life has felt like chance. Random moments of loss and connection. This is the first one that feels, instead, like fate
Sitting in the empty classroom after school one day, Molly stares at that face for a long time, looking for answers to questions she doesn't know how to ask
So I am learning to pretend, to smile and nod, to display empathy I do not feel. I am learning to pass, to look like everyone else, even though I feel broken inside
I feel abandoned and forgotten, dropped into misery worse than my own
They're the ones who haunt us. The ones who have left us behind
3 out of 5 stars
Next book I'm going to review:
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm by George Orwell