Navigate / search

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

Touted as a combination of Water for Elephants and The Nightingale, Pam Jenoff ultimately has created a story about choosing a path and finding refuge in the family you make in

The Orphan’s Tale

Noa is a seventeen year old Dutch girl in the midst of occupation. But when she begins to show signs of her pregnancy by a German soldier, her parents force her out of the house, unwilling to bear her shame. Giving the child up for adoption, and needing to find shelter and support, Noa takes a job as a cleaner at a train station.

One night, she investigates a car on a train – and finds it laden with infants some barely surviving. The Germans are transporting the children further up the line to a concentration camp. But, Noa, stil mourning the loss of her own child steals a baby and heads off into the unknown.

One choice can change your life, and Noa’s choices have changed her inexorably. Leaving in the cold and snow with the stolen infant could have been the end of Noa’s story, but she is found by a traveling circus performer and brought to safety. With an odd collection of misfit performers, Noa must learn to perform on the trapeze if she is to remain safe within the circus, and to do that she must earn the help of Ingrid under the tutelage of Astrid. For Ingrid is also hiding in plain sight as a Jew in the circus,

What emerges is a tense and often harrowing read, beset on by German Soldiers, shortages of food, weather difficulties and a general watchfulness and mistrust from locals, this band of performers have formed bonds that will be tested repeatedly. The circus and the many personalities that make the show work become their own character in the story, dangers of performing never underplayed while the stress of the ever-mobile life weighs on everyone involved. With a support system that she has made through luck and much hard work, the growth of the relationship between Noa and Ingrid is clear and from tentative allies the two soon are friends, then almost sisterly in their concern and care for one another. Secrets can tear failies and bonds apart – but rather emblematic of the time, the secrets held by the players in this story are what bonds them together. A wonderful read that will demand careful consideration as the descriptions are vivid, the emotions viscerally present, and the tension palpable from the start.

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

Title: The Orphan's Tale
Author: Pam Jenoff
Genre: Family Saga, Historic Elements, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction /Historical Setting, Multi-Cultural, World War II
Published by: Harlequin MIRA
ISBN: 0778319814
Published on: 21 February 2017
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 368
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 45 minutes
Rated: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Get Your Copy: Amazon AllRomance Barnes&Noble iTunes Kobo IndieBound Audible

Goodreads


About the Book:

The Nightingale meets Water for Elephants in this powerful novel of friendship and sacrifice, set in a traveling circus during World War II, by international bestselling author Pam Jenoff.

Seventeen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier during the occupation of her native Holland. Heartbroken over the loss of the baby she was forced to give up for adoption, she lives above a small German rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep.

When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants, unknown children ripped from their parents and headed for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the baby that was taken from her. In a moment that will change the course of her life, she steals one of the babies and flees into the snowy night, where she is rescued by a German circus.

The circus owner offers to teach Noa the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their unlikely friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Pam Jenoff

Pam Jenoff was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England. Upon receiving her master’s in history from Cambridge, she accepted an appointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. The position provided a unique opportunity to witness and participate in operations at the most senior levels of government, including helping the families of the Pan Am Flight 103 victims secure their memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, observing recovery efforts at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing and attending ceremonies to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of World War II at sites such as Bastogne and Corregidor.

Following her work at the Pentagon, Pam moved to the State Department. In 1996 she was assigned to the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, Poland. It was during this period that Pam developed her expertise in Polish-Jewish relations and the Holocaust. Working on matters such as preservation of Auschwitz and the restitution of Jewish property in Poland, Pam developed close relations with the surviving Jewish community.

Pam left the Foreign Service in 1998 to attend law school and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked for several years as a labor and employment attorney both at a firm and in-house in Philadelphia and now teaches law school at Rutgers.

Pam is the author of The Kommandant's Girl, which was an international bestseller and nominated for a Quill award, as well as The Winter Guest, The Diplomat's Wife, The Ambassador’s Daughter, Almost Home, A Hidden Affair and The Things We Cherished. She also authored a short story in the anthology Grand Central: Original Postwar Stories of Love and Reunion. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three children.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Comments

kimbacaffeinate
Reply

I read and loved this, but I can only imagine how perfectly this would translate to audio.

Gaele
Reply

Oh – I’m so with you – with the right narrators — sublime! Thanks for stopping in!

Leave a comment

name*

email* (not published)

website

CommentLuv badge