Viola Nielson is Vivian/Niamh’s third and only legal adoptive mother. She is descended from Swedish Romani who migrated to the United States. She and her husband, Mr. Nielsen, run a successful general store in the town of Hemingford, Minnesota. They had a biological daughter, Vivian Nielsen, who died as a child from diphtheria. Mr. and Mrs. Nielsen ultimately ask “Dorothy” to take on the name of their late daughter, Vivian. Mrs. Nielsen is kind and provides well for Vivian/Niamh’s needs, but she and Vivian/Niamh never become deeply emotionally connected.
Viola Nielsen Quotes in Orphan Train
The Orphan Train quotes below are all either spoken by Viola Nielsen or refer to Viola Nielsen. 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 1 Quotes
They don’t seem eager to learn about me, but then again, few people are. I get the sense that my abandonment, and the circumstances that brought me to them, matter little to them, compared to the need I might fill in their lives.
Page Number and Citation:
Viola Nielsen Character Timeline in Orphan Train
The timeline below shows where the character Viola Nielsen appears in Orphan Train. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 30: Hemingford, Minnesota, 1930-1931
...and well maintained. To Niamh, it seems luxurious. Niamh has her own bedroom and bathroom. Mrs. Nielsen observes Niamh’s eating habits and buys things she likes. They attend church every Sunday, and... (full context)
...described them as a poor family with four children and a baby just born prematurely. Mrs. Nielsen tells Niamh they will prepare a basket for them. Niamh knows Mrs. Nielsen doesn’t know... (full context)
Chapter 31: Hemingford, Minnesota, 1935-1939
Chapter 34: Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1939
Chapter 36: Hemingford, Minnesota, 1940-1943
...are alone. He calls her “Viv” because he thinks it sounds like “Niamh.” Contrary to Mrs. Nielsen ’s fears, Dutchy encourages Vivian to continue her studies and her job at the store.... (full context)
...cross. While he is in training in San Diego, Vivian discovers she is pregnant. Despite Mrs. Nielsen ’s concern for her health, Vivian continues to busy herself with work and volunteering to... (full context)