I’m reading Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, and it is a wonderful story. Vivian, now 81 years old, was an orphan in the late 20s and early 30s and part of the story is set back then, chronicling her experiences after she is taken by Child Services from New York to Minnesota to find an adoptive family. Many children were taken on the train, with stops in several cities and towns to find homes. The children were often not more than indentured servants, and too often treated horribly. Such was the case for Vivian.
Jumping ahead to 2011, Molly, another child in foster care, enters the story. She is an older teen, almost ready to age out of the system. She has been in a number of foster homes and has all the problems of any young person who was shuffled from place to place and never appreciated for who she is.
Molly goes to work for Vivian, and the ways their lives parallel each other and then intersect is very touching.
I am so enthralled with the writing, I just have to share this short excerpt that occurs late in the story when Molly is thrown out of her latest foster home:
She’s too old for this- too old to wait around to be placed with another foster family. Too old to switch schools, move to a new town, submit herself to yet another foster parent’s whims. She is so white-hot furious, she can barely see. She stokes the fire of her hatred, feeding it tidbits about bigoted idiot Dina and spineless mushmouth Ralph, because she knows that just beyond the rage is a sorrow so enervating it could render her immobile. She needs to keep moving, flickering around the room. She needs to fill her bags and get the hell out of here.
I didn’t intend to do a review when I started the blog today. I was just going to mention what I was reading, but this has been such a terrific read, I just had to share.
On another note, I found an interesting bit of trivia about Vernors Ginger Ale. On one of the mystery readers lists I belong to, we were discussing different kids of sodas, and someone mentioned Vernors. That is a soda I remember from my childhood that was bottled in Detroit and only sold in select places in Michigan. We could go down to the bottling plant and get samples, sometimes as a float with vanilla ice cream. It was also widely used to soothe stomach upsets, and I remember my mother warming the ginger ale and adding some milk. I liked it so much, I asked for it even when I wasn’t sick.
I was curious about the history of Vernors, so I went over to Wikipedia and found some interesting information. According to company legend, prior to the start of the American Civil War, while a clerk at the Higby & Sterns drugstore in Detroit, James Vernor experimented with flavors in an attempt to duplicate a popular ginger ale imported from Dublin, Ireland.
Here is another website, created by Joe Blizzard, with more information if you are dying to know all the history of this unique ginger ale.
I remember this sign which was at the front entrance of the bottling plant for many years.
It wouldn’t be Monday without a joke to start your week off. A friend sent me these quotes from Phyllis Diller, and I thought they were cute:
Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age. As your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.
Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?
Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.
The reason women don’t play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.
Do you have a favorite soda that is unique to the part of the world in which you live? Got a joke to share? Let us know in the comments.