Like Vivian/Niamh, Molly Ayer also has a necklace from her birth family that holds deep sentimental value. Molly’s charm necklace was a birthday gift from her father (Mr. Ayer) for her eighth birthday, given to her just a couple weeks before his death. The necklace is made of three inexpensive pewter charms. As explained by Molly’s father, each charm is an important animal with symbolic power in Penobscot culture. The teddy bear represents the Maine black bear and imparts courage. The bird represents the raven, which has the power to protect from “bad spells.” The fish imparts the power to resist bad influences and forces. The necklace is precious to Molly, and as a child growing up in the foster care system, she puts she necklace on every time she has to move to a new home. For Molly, the necklace represents the strength and comfort she finds in the memory of her family. It also represents her connection to her past and her cultural identity as a Penobscot Indian.
The Orphan Train quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Three Pewter Charms / Molly’s Charm Necklace. 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.).
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Three Pewter Charms / Molly’s Charm Necklace appears in Orphan Train. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Spruce Harbor, Maine, 2011
Chapter 20: Spruce Harbor, Maine, 2011
Chapter 21: Spruce Harbor, Maine, 2011
...special meaning. Vivian says that it does. Molly tells Vivian about the “metaphorical” magic her charm necklace has for her. She then begins her interview by asking Vivian if she “believes in... (full context)
Chapter 33: Spruce Harbor, Maine
...and imagines herself as a Penobscot Indian journeying with all her possessions. She wears her charm necklace , but thinks of how “the things that matter stay with you, seep into your... (full context)