This book humanizes a lesser-known part of American history in how orphans were shipped by train from New York City to the Midwest in hopes of providing them a better life. What happens often falls short of the lofty, good intentions of the orphan train planners. After reading this story, thoughts will linger about how we measure the value of what is lost and what is kept through our lives. See life through the perspective of a rebellious 17-year-old orphan and the ninety-year-old woman with an attic of belongings to catalogue and sort through. The women discover common ground and unexpected friendship.
Jordan demonstrates that the good-old days after World War II were not good for blacks in the South, poor struggling farmers and for women. Her characters came alive off the page and stirred strong emotions of sympathy for Laura and loathing toward the small-minded men who fought against the inevitable changes in society with violence and cruelty. I especially enjoyed that the chapters were told from various points of view, which gives the reader deeper insight into the actions and motivations of the characters. A moving story, I recommend it.