In this season of thankfulness, a book I would recommend is the New York Times Bestseller, Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline, a novel that jumps from a girl in foster care (early 2011) who wears goth clothing like a hard turtle shell, to the historical events of the orphan trains (1929), and the 91-year old survivor of the trains (back in 2011).
As one might guess, the “adoptions” on these trains were hap-hazard, some people looking for a child to love, others looking for a servant, a few looking for someone to bully. Vivian, the orphan-train survivor, was a modern-day wealthy woman, alone because she was afraid to love again, yet she connected to a teenager in foster care who had not been loved for a very long time. This is a great story of “blooming where you are planted” and enjoying and making the best of the life you have, rather than being angry about what happened to you as a child.
Personally, this made me want to be kinder and more sensitive to the little “handfulls” in my life (Grandmother Irene would have called them “terrors,” Mama’s word was “mess”). One never knows the whole story of what people are going through, no matter their age, and everyone needs a little kindness.