Hemingford, Minnesota, 1930-1931 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1939 Summary

Molly has been cooking vegetarian meals for Dina and Ralph in order to show Dina how appetizing vegetarian meals can be. Instead, all Dina does is complain about how much extra the food for the meals cost and how the food is not filling. After trying to get along with her, Molly has finally had enough. She lashes out at Dina by asking what she is complaining about. After all, doesn't the state pay them for taking her in and doesn't that money include the money to feed her? Dina becomes enraged at this and decides to go into Molly's room to see if she has any stolen goods. She finds the book Vivian has given Molly, but the inside of the book has Vivian's previous name of Dorothy Power written in it. Dina does not believe the truth of how Molly was given the book by Vivian, instead she orders Molly to leave the house. Ralph knows it is not that simple, because first Child Services has to be notified and a new foster home has to be found. Molly takes matters into her own hands and tells Ralph she has a place she can stay. She packs up her belongings and leaves.

She makes her way to Vivian's home hoping that she will take her in for the night. It is later than she expects when she arrives at Vivian's house, so she calls her first in the hopes of not scaring the elderly lady. Vivian is at first startled by the call, but she lets Molly into her home. There Molly tells Vivian everything about her Dina and Ralph, her parents, and the real reason she had to do community service hours. Vivian is a little taken aback by the revelation of Molly's criminal past, but she rallies. Molly then drops another startling piece of information on Vivian - she tells her she has found Vivian's sister on the internet. She shows her the obituary and picture of Maisie. Vivian is stunned to find out her sister was alive.

Vivian remembers her days living with the Nielsens in Hemingford, Minnesota. They were very kind to her and gave her everything she could ever dream of and more. She had her own room with her own bathroom, she had nice clothes and was treated in a way no one had ever treated her before-with caring. She helped them in their store after school stocking the shelves, cleaning up, and working the cash register as needed. She came to like her life and the routine it provided her. She watched and learned from the other girls at school as to how to dress and act. She even tried to rid herself of her Irish accent. She joined the Lutheran Church they belonged to and enjoyed going to church.

Dorothy, as Vivian was then called, learned one day of how Mr. and Mrs. Nielsen's daughter, Vivian, died of diphtheria. One night, after living with them for several months, Mr. Nielsen asked Dorothy if she would like to take the name their daughter had and become Vivian. She did not know what to do, because while she liked them, she did not feel towards them as a child felt towards a parent. After an encounter with Mr. Byrne, her first foster father, in the store, she made up her mind to take on Vivian's name. Eventually they adopted Vivian, but she never called them mother and dad. She always referred to them as Mr. and Mrs. Nielsen.

Around the time she was fifteen years old, Mrs. Nielsen found a pack of cigarettes in Vivian's purse. They were very disappointed and hurt by her having smoked a cigarette. After this experience, she vowed to never do anything to cause them to be upset or disappointed in her again.

She set her sights on helping to make the store as profitable as possible. She had them rearrange where items were displayed so the customer could find them easier. She also made suggestions as to new items the store could sell such as hosiery, make-up, and costume jewelry. These suggestions went a long way towards making the store the most thriving business in town.

Vivian was also taking night courses at St. Olaf College in accounting and business administration. She had made some friends at the college, two girls named Lillian Bart and Emily Reece. They had proposed a trip to Minneapolis, in September, to see the Wizard of Oz at the movie theatre. Vivian's parents wanted her to go and have some fun with these new wholesome friends. After arriving at a hotel for women, Emily and Vivian went to the movie. But all was not as it was presented to Vivian's parents, Lillian did not see the movie, instead she was with her fiancé. Also, the girls were going to the afternoon showing of the movie, so they could go out and have drinks in the evening. Vivian was not at all comfortable with these arrangements.

After the movie the three girls along with Richard, Lillian's fiancé, went to the Grand Hotel. There Richard, Lillian, and Emily immediately headed for the bar to get some food and drinks. Vivian stayed back to sit in the reception area and watched all the people coming and going from the hotel. She was approached by a handsome man who recognized her. It was Dutchy from the Orphan Train, he is now known as Luke and is the piano player in the bar. They went back to Vivian's room to talk after he was done working, and ten months later they were married.

Molly has made a life altering decision by leaving Dina and Ralph's home without having any where to go. Vivian also made some life altering decisions when she was young. Both of these women came to a cross road in their lives and made some tough decisions.

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