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The Orphan's Tale: A Novel Paperback – February 21, 2017
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"Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train has collided with the circus caravan from Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants, and out of wreck has come Pam Jenoff's The Orphan's Tale. The novel is a magical carnival saga, a bit grittier than either of its antecedents, and with more at stake...Jenoff has written a tribute to the human spirit that soars in the midst of epic despair." -NPR
"I read this novel in a headlong rush, transported by the relationship between two vastly different women during World War II: a Jewish circus aerialist and a teenage runaway with a baby. Deftly juggling secrets, lies, treachery, and passion, Pam Jenoff vividly brings to life the agonizing choices and life-or-death consequences for a hardy band of travelers under Nazi occupation." -Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
"Pam Jenoff's prose is evocative and compelling, but there's also authority in her words. The author was moved to begin writing this type of historical fiction because of her years spent working at the Pentagon and as a diplomat for the U.S. State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland. One might find oneself wishing someone so intent on telling the stories of Holocaust survivors still worked there now, but her writing is just as much of a gift as her public service." -The Globe and Mail
"The Orphan's Tale is a compelling and beautifully told story about the power of female friendship, with all its complications." -PopSugar
"Readers who enjoyed Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale and Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants will embrace this novel." -Library Journal
"In prose that is beautiful, ethereal, and poignant, The Orphan's Tale is a novel you won't be able to put down." -Bustle
"The Orphan's Tale is not one person's story of abandonment but that of a generation lost to history. With a detailed command of circus life, unexpected twists and parallel narratives, Pam Jenoff uses the circus's mystique to symbolize each character's secrets." -Shelf Awareness
"A gripping story about the power of friendship to save and redeem even in the darkest of circumstances, The Orphan's Tale sheds light on one of the most colorful and inspiring stories of heroism in Nazi Germany. This is a book not to be missed." -Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator's Wife
"Jenoff expertly performs a pirouetting tale worthy of a standing ovation. A circus of hidden Jews, a powerful friendship, The Orphan's Tale proves that the human spirit defies hate, fear, and gravity with a triumphant ta-da!" -Sarah McCoy, New York Times bestselling author of The Mapmaker's Children
"The Orphan's Tale begins with the most riveting first chapter I've ever read. With deftness and emotion, Jenoff sets in motion a compelling story of friendship and courage during the Second World War." -Charles Belfoure, author of The Paris Architect and House of Thieves
About the Author
Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels, including the international bestseller The Kommandant's Girl, which also earned her a Quill Award nomination. Pam lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.
Top customer reviews
This has to be one of my favorite Pam Jenoff’s novels. The historical fiction novel takes place during World War Two, and the Holocaust. This is a turbulent and devastating period in history. Pam Jenoff’s description of the isolation and depravity of the towns and villages as well as the attitudes of people during this time period is extraordinary and exceptional.
The author has been so ambitious in weaving her tale, there is so much to absorb. One of the main characters, Noa,gets pregnant by a German soldier, and is forced to give up her baby. Noa’s family is intolerant and throws her out, where she is forced to clean near a railway station. Noa discovers a railroad car filled with Jewish babies, some alive, destined to a concentration camp, and decides to take one of the babies. She names him Theo, and is forced to escape in the ice and cold with no papers.
Noa winds up in a German Circus. The owner of the Circus, has tried to provide safety for Jewish people, and offers Noa a job.
At this time Noa meets Astrid, an acrobat in this circus. Astrid is Jewish, and was part of a Jewish Circus. Astrid is instructed to teach Noa how to do acrobatics. The two of them have a conflicted friendship based on a lack of trust and a need for survival. Astrid does not know where her family is, and is divorced.
We do meet a number of complex characters.
In my opinion, Pam Jenoff compares the indifference and immorality of people with courageous, caring people who offer hope, faith and love, and are willing to take risks.
Kudos to Pam Jenoff for telling an amazing story, and bringing a different perspective to light. I am left with so many provoking thoughts and questions. I highly recommend “The Orphan’s Tale as a wonderful novel of historical fiction genre.