Mary Power (“Mam”) is Vivian/Niamh’s biological mother. Born in Ireland at the turn of the twentieth century, she immigrates to New York with her husband Patrick and her three children, Niamh, Dominick, and James. She becomes pregnant with her daughter Maisie during the voyage to America. Mary is frequently depressed, which can make her neglectful of her children. Still, she values education and teaches Niamh to read. In Ireland, Mary’s fights with Niamh’s Gram are part of the series of events that lead to their family’s departure from Ireland. After Mary’s husband and sons die in a house fire, Mary is institutionalized in a mental hospital.
Mary Power/ “Mam” Quotes in Orphan Train
The Orphan Train quotes below are all either spoken by Mary Power/ “Mam” or refer to Mary Power/ “Mam”. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the William Morrow edition of Orphan Train published in 2013.).
Chapter 10 Quotes
How strange, I think – that I am in a place my parents have never been and will never see. How strange that I am here and they are gone. I touch the claddagh cross around my neck.
Mary Power/ “Mam” Character Timeline in Orphan Train
The timeline below shows where the character Mary Power/ “Mam” appears in Orphan Train. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: New York City, 1929
...family friend hired her father to work in his pub. Her Da’s drinking and her Mam’s “black moods” continued, but still the narrator remained hopeful. She reflects that Maisie’s wailing on... (full context)
Chapter 4: New York City, 1929
Chapter 5: New York Central Train, 1929
Chapter 15: Albans, Minnesota, 1929
Chapter 22: Hemingford County, Minnesota, 1930
...Gram baking, singing, and sipping tea. But then other memories creep in: She remembers her Mam “expecting her” to cook, clean, and care for her siblings. She remembers one night when... (full context)
Chapter 28: Hemingford, Minnesota, 1930
...pleasant memories of her Gram’s kitchen. She also begins remembering her Da’s drinking and her Mam and Gram’s fights, each blaming the other for his alcoholism. She remembers overhearing her grandparents... (full context)