Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Six books featuring adoptions gone awry

R.J. Hoffmann was born and raised in St. Louis and received an MFA in fiction from Columbia College Chicago. Hoffmann’s writing has appeared in Barely South Review, The Sun, Harpur Palate, The Roanoke Review, Booth, and Lunch Ticket. He is the winner of The Madison Review’s 2018 Chris O’Malley Prize for Fiction and a finalist for The Missouri Review’s 2019 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors Prize. He lives in Elmhurst, Illinois with his wife and two children.

At CrimeReads Hoffmann tagged six books featuring adoptions gone awry, including:
Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline

Molly is a rebellious seventeen-year-old foster child, struggling to stay at yet another humiliating placement. When she’s caught stealing a library book (Bronte, by the way) and finds herself sentenced to fifty hours of community service, she stumbles across Vivian, a ninety-one-year-old widow living in a stately mansion with an attic that needs organizing. We learn that Vivian is an orphan, too, sent west from New York City just before the Great Depression on an ‘orphan train’, the early twentieth century’s answer to foster care. Memories emerge from the boxes in the attic, and as Molly pries the past from Vivian, they learn how much they have in common. The crimes against them, even the many that didn’t break the letter of the law, help prepare both for what comes next.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue