Pasadena’s 14th One City, One Story community reading celebration book selection is the novel Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.
Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by luck or chance. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances and unexpected friendship.
One City, One Story activities and events will be held in March 2016. A community dialogue with the author is scheduled for Thursday, March 31st. Please visit our One City, One Story Guide for all the details, or view the One Ctiy, One Story brochure
(Image Credit: Karin Diana)
Christina Baker Kline is the author of five novels, including the #1 New York Times bestselling Orphan Train. Her other novels include Bird in Hand, The Way Life Should Be, Desire Lines and Sweet Water. She is currently at work on a novel based on the iconic painting Christina's World, by Andrew Wyeth.Kline has also written and edited five nonfiction books, and she commissioned and edited two widely praised collections of original essays on the first year of parenthood and raising young children, Child of Mine and Room to Grow, and a book on grieving, Always Too Soon. She is the co-editor, with Anne Burt, of a collection of personal essays called About Face: Women Write About What They See When They Look in the Mirror, and is co-author, with her mother, Christina Looper Baker, of a book on feminist mothers and daughters, The Conversation Begins. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Money, More and Psychology Today, among other places.
Kline was born in Cambridge, England, and raised there as well as in the American South and Maine. She is a graduate of Yale, Cambridge and the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow in Fiction Writing. She has taught fiction and nonfiction writing, poetry, English literature, literary theory and women’s studies at Yale, NYU, and Drew University, and served as Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University for four years. She is a recipient of several Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Fellowships and Writer-in-Residence Fellowships at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She supports a number of libraries and other associations in New Jersey and Maine, and is a member of the Advisory Board for Roots & Wings, a nonprofit that provides support for at-risk adolescent and aged-out foster care youth.Kline lives in an old house in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband, David Kline, and three sons, Hayden, Will and Eli. She spends as much time as possible in an even older house in Southwest Harbor, Maine.