Adam looked at Hillary. "Why do you call your parents, John and Kate, instead of mother and father?"
Hillary smiled, "Because they aren't my parents. They adopted me."
Adam stopped abruptly and slowly lowered the glasses back to the table. "You're adopted?" he repeated, in disbelief. He looked to Kate and John, searching for affirmation.
"That's right," Kate assured him. "Her parents were our best friends, so when her parents died, we adopted her."
"Me, too," Pina added. "I was adopted."
"Bridie adopted me," Catherine chimed in.
Adam leaned against the table, as if his legs were too weak to hold him. He spoke as though the words came hard. "You three, beautiful girls...were orphans?"
With raised eyebrows, Ruth glanced at Tom, surprised by such a bold statement from Adam.
Pina raised a hand to fluff her hair, "He called us beautiful."
Secrets Back Cover!
The third and final story from Robert Noonan's Orphan Train Trilogy, Secrets, explores the fate of orphan children who arrived on an orphan train during the late 1800s to find a new life in the Midwest. Who adopts them is the key to their happiness...or sorrow.
Despite harboring secrets from a past filled with physical abuse, shame, murder and prostitution, the children and their new parents begin a new and exciting life. But overcoming their haunting memories won't be easy.
After fleeing from their home following a horrible crime, Hillary and her new parents, John and Kate Hanley, have found a new life in Galena, Illinois. Hillary longs to visit her former hometown and reunite with her friends in the club called the Wildflowers. But going back could mean the ruin of her new family.
Filled with vivid historical detail and heartfelt emotion, Noonan delivers a compelling look at a little-known event in American history.
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