Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Family Reunion and the Orphan Train

Floating in a pool with a good book - a perfect way to relax!
I will be returning to my desktop computer today, after a week away. I just spent a wonderful vacation with my parents, my three sisters, and our families.  We rented a large vacation home with a beautiful pool, just outside of Vancouver, B.C., Canada.  The amenities of the home, and the absolutely perfect weather during our stay, made us all agree we were experiencing a little slice of heaven.

Internet was available at the house, but access was inexplicably minimal and intermittent. Had I not written and scheduled most of the week's daily blog posts ahead of time, you would not have heard much from me.  Having a guest post supplied by Lana yesterday was really helpful, also. I will be busy this week, though, trying to get caught up reading the blogs I usually follow.

Internet may have been scarce, but free time was more plentiful than usual. I finally had a chance to read a book I have been interested in for some time.  Orphan Train: A Novel, by Christina Baker Kline.

Just over 30 pages into the book, I discovered what seemed like perhaps the most beautiful paragraph I have ever read:
". . .  Dusk softens the sharp points of trees outside my window; the sky slowly darkens, then blackens around an orb of moon.  Hours later, a faint blue tinge yields to the soft pastels of dawn, and soon enough sun is streaming in, the stop-start rhythm of the train making it all feel like still photography, thousands of images that taken together create a scene in motion."
Don't you think this is a beautiful piece of writing? Of course, my perception could have been influenced by my surroundings when I read it. I was floating on a plastic raft in the middle of a pool on a beautiful day, sipping a cold beverage, with nothing else needing my immediate attention.  Reading it again just now, however, I am struck by the descriptive poetry of the words.

While sections of Orphan Train are extremely lovely prose, it is also a very captivating book to read.  It is a story of two very resilient women, and the life challenges they both faced growing up at different times, alone in the world. Reading about the hardships they endured was especially heart-wrenching, while surrounded by my family in our beautiful vacation setting. My copy of the book is now a little dog-eared with pages warped by wet wrinkles, but it is readable condition. I will pass it on to family and friends with my highest recommendations.  
Christina Baker Kline has apparently written four other novels. I am looking forward to reading them!
Having my family all together felt even more special after reading Orphan Train.

Who is your favorite author?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog.  Check them out!


17 comments :

  1. So glad you enjoyed your time away. Sigh...another book on the 'must read' list.

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    1. Sorry to add to the stack - but I found this an enjoyable book to read!

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  2. Your vacation sounds blissful.
    Favourite author? Too many to list. So many writers speak to different moods/needs. I will always read every new Barbara Kingsolver though - fiction or non fiction. Love Tove Jansson too.

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    1. I love everything by Barbara Kingsolver as well. Haven't read anything by Tove Jansson - but perhaps I should!

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  3. This sounds like a book I just read by Sue Monk The Invention of Wings. Being from the south it is shaming but a story that definitely needs to be read. Two women 1 white, 1 black same house that's about the only thing they have in common. I will check yours out. I'm reading James Grisham's novel "Sycamore Row" a sequel to A Time To Kill written years ago. Very good, haven't been able to put it down. Glad you're back and so glad you had a great time. You're not in the picture are you. If so then is it white shirt blue shorts?

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    1. I loved The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd! I haven't read The Invention of Wings - but thanks for the reminder to do so!

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    2. That's my favorite movie/book Secret Life of Bees it was based on where I live. But I loved it before I moved here. Have you seen the movie?

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  4. Looks like a wonderful trip! I love Vancouver - your pool picture looks divine. So glad you had such a good time. I haven't heard of the Orphan Train, but I will put it on my reading list.

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    1. Vancouver is a beautiful city. I think you really would like The Orphan Train Lana!

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  5. that is so perfect, reading while being in a pool

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  6. What a great trip! Glad it was so refreshing! I haven't heard of this author, but I love to read so I'll check it out. Hope you have a restful weekend!

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    1. I hadn't heard of her either - but now want to read more of her work! Hope you have a nice weekend also!

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  7. What a fun time! I want to float on that pool raft and read :)

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  8. Now you've got me quite intrigued. Sounds like a book I'd really enjoy.

    How lovely that you got to have this relaxing time with your family.

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    1. I highly recommend it! Thanks for visiting Lori, and leaving a comment.

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