Currently reading

Paul Hanley
A Month in the Country
Michael Holroyd, J.L. Carr
A Tale of the Dispossessed: A Novel
Laura Restrepo, Dolores M. Koch
Mesabi Pioneers
Jeffrey Smith, Russell Hill
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
Jon Rothschild, Amin Maalouf
Island of a Thousand Mirrors
Nayomi Munaweera

Orphan Train

Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline The central relationship in this one, between Vivian (91 yo) and Molly (17), is beautifully done. Both of their characters are well filled out, complicated and relate-able. Their growing friendship is central to the story and I really enjoyed that.

But the other characters..... Holy Mommy Issues, Batman! The foster parents are distant or evil, the women are represented as cold, demanding, heartless, jealous. Halfway through the book, I was wondering if even Disney couldn't out bad-mommy this author. But I suppose it served the story she wanted to tell: two orphans finding each other as family after years of isolation from other people. The other orphans are the only ones Vivian really connects with (her true love is also an orphan). Perhaps this is a case that being an outsider is their primary identity, and so they can only connect with other outsiders. But in the process of telling that story, the author made non-orphans seem pretty uniformly cold and, frankly, not worth knowing.