Hemingford, Minnesota, 1940-1943 - Spruce Harbor, Maine, 2011 Summary

Vivian and Luke married and found a small home to rent a couple of blocks from the Neilsens. Luke, who Vivian called Dutchy, worked as a music teacher at the Hemingford School. Vivian, called Viv by Dutchy, managed the store. They settled into a happy married life together, but the events of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, changed all of it for them and everyone in the country.

Dutchy was not willing to enlist in the service so he waited for his papers to come informing him he had been drafted. He was sent to San Diego for training, and then he was assigned to an aircraft carrier as a maintenance technician. It was during this time he meets a fellow Minnesotan, named Jim Daly, who became his best friend.

Also during this time Vivian had some exciting news to share with Dutchy- she was pregnant. The pregnancy gave both Vivian and Dutchy something to focus all their energy on. It got Dutchy through the hard times in the Navy and Vivian through the loneliness of missing Dutchy. She sewed a quilt for her child and shared the details with Dutchy through the letters she wrote him.

Then on a Wednesday morning in 1943, a Western Union man came to the store with a telegram for Vivian. Everyone knew these telegrams were full of bad news. Dutchy had been killed on his ship after a plane had crashed into it. Jim Daly wrote to Vivian assuring her that Dutchy did not suffer in his last moments.

A few months later Vivian gave birth to a daughter, who she named May in honor of her sister Maisie. Vivian also made the difficult decision to give up her daughter for adoption. She felt her whole life had been one of losing the people she was closest to, and so to spare herself and her child, she gave her away. She never spoke of the child again.

After the war, Jim Daly came to see Vivian. He had some items of Dutchy's the Navy had not sent her, but mostly he wanted to talk to her about Dutchy. They formed a bond from the shared experience of knowing and losing Dutchy. Eventually, the two of them married and had a happy life together until Jim died. It was after they were retired and on vacation that they saw the house in Spruce Harbor. They fell in love with the house and moved there, which is why Vivian still lives there.

Molly and Vivian talked about these events on the night Molly left Ralph and Dina's house. Molly was very sympathetic for Vivian after she told her about giving up her baby, May. Vivian finally tells Molly it is time for Molly to go to bed, which is how Molly begins living with Vivian.

Terry, Jack's mother, is not too happy at first at the prospect of Molly living with Vivian. Vivian makes it clear that Molly is not only welcome, but wanted in her home. After this is settled, Molly has to settle things with Ralph. He wants her to come back, because he fears he and Dina will get in trouble with Child Services. He also informs Molly that the police could come after her as a runaway from their home. She tells him to pretend she is still living there and to keep on collecting the money they are paid for keeping her. She is still attending school and seeing Jack. Her grades go up and she is no longer dressing as a Goth, in fact, she is for the first time in a long time happy.

Vivian decides she wants to purchase a computer and have internet service in the house. Jack and Molly help her achieve these goals and find that Vivian is a quick study. She is soon finding websites about the Orphan Train children and their descendants. She is happy to find others who have had similar experiences as she did, and is soon buying books put out by those who rode the train or have done research about the riders. Molly, after hearing some of the stories, realizes that people try to find a reason for what happens in their lives. She understands that in the end, some good comes out of having endured the trials in life. She uses this reasoning to see how the circumstances of her own life have led her to Vivian and Jack. She considers them the good, which has come from all the bad she has experienced.

One day Vivian tells Molly of her desire to find her daughter. Molly helps her find a reliable search website and fill out the necessary forms. Within ten days Vivian receives a phone call from the registry she signed up with, telling her they have found her daughter. After an e-mail and a phone call, her daughter and granddaughter have decided to fly out to Maine from North Dakota to meet Vivian.

Vivian is happy and scared at the same time. She is happy to see her daughter once again, but a little afraid of how she will accept her. The whole household swings into action to help prepare for the visit. The house is painted and repaired, Vivian buys new clothes, and Terry makes out a menu for the meals. Finally the day arrives and they are in the drive way, Vivian's eleven year old granddaughter looks a lot like her, she even has red hair. Her daughter has blonde hair, just like she had when she was born, and is looking at her mother for the first time with a variety of emotions. The most important of these emotions is the love that shows on her face.

Molly and Vivian become even closer after Molly moves into Vivian's home. Together the two of them track down Vivian's past and most importantly her daughter.



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