I grabbed Orphan Train, a novel by Christina Baker Kline, while dashing
for my flight back home from Las Vegas. After reading it, I was thrilled
to have stumbled upon an excellent read! Orphan Train brings to light a
distinctly American phenomenon, the orphan trains of the mid-19th to
early-20th centuries, and weaves this lesson in history with the
personal experience of two apparently very different women. These trains
carried thousands of abandoned children from the East Coast to the
Midwest for informal adoption.
Two women in modern time--one elderly and now wealthy, the other a
rebellious teenager--are each orphans in some manner as well. They are
brought together and find, unexpectedly, that they have a great deal in
common despite outward appearances.
I found this book to be not just a lesson about a little-known fact of
our history but also a heartening reminder that, despite disparate
appearances, we may all have certain important features in common. It's
worth looking closer at others and considering this in these cases! A
highly recommended read.
Dr. Reem Habboushe is the Chief of PH Hospital Medical Services.
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.