Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Orphan Train: Introduction
Orphan Train: Plot Summary
Orphan Train: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Orphan Train: Themes
Orphan Train: Quotes
Orphan Train: Characters
Orphan Train: Symbols
Orphan Train: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Christina Baker Kline
Historical Context of Orphan Train
Other Books Related to Orphan Train
- Full Title: Orphan Train
- When Written: 2013
- Where Written: New York; Minnesota; Ireland
- When Published: 2013
- Literary Period: Contemporary Fiction
- Genre: Feminist Historical Fiction; “two-plot” novel
- Setting: Present-day Maine; 1920s Kinvara, County Galway, Ireland; 1920s New York City; 1930s-1940s Hemford Country, Minnesota
- Climax: When Vivian reveals that she gave her baby daughter up for adoption after the death of her first husband, Dutchy.
- Point of View: Molly’s story is told in a third-person-limited perspective; Vivian’s story is told in the first person.
Extra Credit for Orphan Train
Biographical sources. Orphan Train was inspired by the lives of two of Kline’s grandparents, who were also orphans, along with her husband’s grandfather, an orphan train rider.
Continued relevance. The orphan train movement is largely believed to have been the precursor to the modern foster care system.