Orphan Train

Orphan Train

Mr. Byrne is Vivian/Niamh’s first adoptive father. Born in Minnesota, Mr. Byrne’s family comes from Ireland. He is cheerful and talkative. He and his wife Lois own a ladies’ garment business run out of his home in Albans, Minnesota. Mr. Byrne is friendly with Vivian/Niamh, who he and his wife call “Dorothy,” But he does nothing to challenge his wife’s stern rules and poor treatment of her. At his wife’s request, the couple kicks “Dorothy” out after several months.

Raymond Byrne Quotes in Orphan Train

The Orphan Train quotes below are all either spoken by Raymond Byrne or refer to Raymond Byrne. 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:
Belonging and Connection Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the William Morrow edition of Orphan Train published in 2013.
Chapter 1 Quotes

“For goodness’ sake, Raymond, it doesn’t matter what she thinks,” Mrs. Byrne snaps as she opens her car door. “Dorothy is our choice, and Dorothy she will be.”

Related Characters: Vivian Daly / Niamh Power / “Dorothy” (speaker), Raymond Byrne, Lois Byrne
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Orphan Train quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

I keep forgetting to answer to Dorothy. But in a way I am glad to have a new identity. It makes it easier to let go of so much else. I’m not the same Niamh who left her Gram and aunties and uncles in Kinvara and came across the ocean on the Agnes Pauline, who lived with her family on Elizabeth Street. No, I am Dorothy now.

Related Characters: Vivian Daly / Niamh Power / “Dorothy” (speaker), Gram, Raymond Byrne, Lois Byrne
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

I feel myself retreating to someplace deep inside. It is a pitiful kind of childhood, to know that no one loves you or is taking care of you, to always be on the outside looking in. I feel a decade older than my years. I know too much; I have seen people at their worst, at their most desperate and selfish, and this knowledge makes me wary. 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.

Related Characters: Vivian Daly / Niamh Power / “Dorothy” (speaker), Raymond Byrne, Lois Byrne, Mr. Sorenson
Page Number: 112
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mo

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Get the entire Orphan Train LitChart as a printable PDF.
Orphan train.pdf.medium

Raymond Byrne Character Timeline in Orphan Train

The timeline below shows where the character Raymond Byrne appears in Orphan Train. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11: Albans, Minnesota, 1929
Belonging and Connection Theme Icon
Self and Identity Theme Icon
Trauma and Loss Theme Icon
...their driveway, they tell Niamh that they have agreed to change her name to “Dorothy.” Mr. Byrne asks Niamh if she likes the name, but Mrs. Byrne interrupts, telling her husband “it... (full context)
Chapter 12: Albans, Minnesota, 1929
Belonging and Connection Theme Icon
Safety and Survival Theme Icon
Secrets, Reality, and Illusions Theme Icon
Hope and Skepticism Theme Icon
...sleeping “with [them] on the second floor.” She instructs Niamh not to “disturb” her and Mr. Byrne after dinner, and says she is certain they will all have a “positive experience” so... (full context)
Chapter 15: Albans, Minnesota, 1929
Self and Identity Theme Icon
Safety and Survival Theme Icon
Secrets, Reality, and Illusions Theme Icon
Hope and Skepticism Theme Icon
...Monday morning, and cheerfully takes special care getting dressed for school. At breakfast, she asks Mr. Byrne and Mrs. Byrne how to get to the schoolhouse and what time she is expected.... (full context)
Belonging and Connection Theme Icon
Self and Identity Theme Icon
Safety and Survival Theme Icon
Trauma and Loss Theme Icon
Secrets, Reality, and Illusions Theme Icon
...shut. At night in her cold pallet, Niamh feels deeply alone. When they are alone, Mr. Byrne is kind to Niamh and enjoys talking about his family in Ireland. Niamh recalls how... (full context)
Belonging and Connection Theme Icon
Secrets, Reality, and Illusions Theme Icon
Hope and Skepticism Theme Icon
...the Children’s Aid, which she claims she would have already done if it weren’t for Mr. Byrne . She tells Niamh they only chose her because of Mr. Byrne’s attachment to Ireland.... (full context)
Belonging and Connection Theme Icon
Self and Identity Theme Icon
Hope and Skepticism Theme Icon
...her Gram and symbolizes love and friendship. Mrs. Byrne considers making Niamh remove it, but Mr. Byrne defends Niamh’s right to keep her “trinket from home.” Mrs. Byrne contends that Niamh shouldn’t... (full context)
Chapter 16: Albans, Minnesota, 1929-1930
Belonging and Connection Theme Icon
Safety and Survival Theme Icon
Trauma and Loss Theme Icon
...the weeks pass, the sewing business declines but the women keep working. Niamh learns that Mr. Byrne had invested heavily in stocks. Despite everyone’s anxiety, Niamh likes being with the seamstresses (except... (full context)
Chapter 30: Hemingford, Minnesota, 1930-1931
Belonging and Connection Theme Icon
Self and Identity Theme Icon
Safety and Survival Theme Icon
Trauma and Loss Theme Icon
...store, Niamh hears a familiar voice bartering with Mr. Nielsen. Niamh realizes the man is Mr. Byrne . He appears tired and possibly drunk. When he sees her, he expresses interest in... (full context)