Book Review - Orphan Train and The Goldfinch

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

When I was a kid I read a book, based on a true story, about a girl from NYC who was send to the Mid-West on an Orphan Train in search of a family to adopt her. I don't remember the title of the book but the storyline has never left me. 
So, when I saw that Christina Baker Kline has written an adult novel focused around the same historical endeavor, the orphan trains of the early 1900s, I was eager to pick it up.

Orphan Train was a quick and entertaining read. It's not going to win a Nobel Prize but it's well written and the plot is intriguing. I enjoyed the dual story-lines: modern teenage struggling through the foster-care system and early twentieth century orphan at the mercy of a new, experimental "solution" to the growing orphan population in NYC. 

It's been remarkably easy to transition from paper and ink books to an e-reader. However, what I didn't anticipate was losing the ability to judge a books weight and length. When I bought The Goldfinch for my Kindle I had no idea it was an 800 page book. To be honest, had I know I probably wouldn't have chosen it and I would have missed out on a great read. A coming-of-age novel The Goldfinch covers so much territory it's difficult to know how to even describe the book. Part young adult, part philosophical, part gangster drama, it's got something for everyone. At times it does seem to drag but overall it's an engaging, interesting read full of wonderful characters and an intriguing storyline.

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