- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: MIRA; 1st edition (February 21, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0778319814
- ISBN-13: 978-0778319818
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 566 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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
And I ask you, “How could I pass this up?” In short, I didn’t. I quickly moved this one up to the top of my TBR pile and dug right in.
We start with a prologue where an elderly woman makes her way into a new exhibit on European circuses. Based on the dust jacket, I know that it’s either Noa or Astrid. By the time I reached the prologue’s end, I was hooked. Then the story moves back in time to Germany, 1944.
When Noa is sixteen, she is kicked out of her parents’ home when she discovers she is pregnant by a German officer. While we only see her after she has given up her baby, we see that she has lost none of that innocence that got her in the family way. Noa is cleaning a train station and lives in a closet. One night, a train pulls in. Thinking she hears a baby crying, Noa inspects the boxcars and finds a horrific sight. One of the cars’ floor is covered with babies, none more than two years old. Most are dead, frozen, but she pulls one out.
Taking the child, she runs away in the middle of a blizzard. She is found by Astrid and is taken in. Astrid is one of Europe’s leading aerialists, but with a war raging, she is not with her family circus. Instead, she is with her neighbor’s family circus.
The Neuhoff Circus needs another aerialist, so Noa must take to the trapeze to earn her place in these strangers who become family. The young women become close. Almost as if they were sisters, watching out for each other. Noa kept the baby she stole and named him Theo. One of the major hurdles that they face, is that Astrid is Jewish.
The story is the tale of the circus and its people. I loved reading about how Astrid trained Noa and circus life in the 1940s. The book ends with an epilogue that gives complete closure to all the supporting characters. It was nice to learn their fate.
The story did get sluggish in the bottom part of the first third. I wanted to give The Orphan’s Tale receives 6 stars, but that blip caused me to award 5 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.
Most recent customer reviews
Super great read, I recommend this book highly y