The Orphan's Tale

The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff Book Summary

Look out for Pam’s new book, The Lost Girls of Paris, a story of friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female spies during World War II.

A New York Times bestseller!

“Readers who enjoyed Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants will embrace this novel. “ —Library Journal

“Secrets, lies, treachery, and passion…. I read this novel in a headlong rush.” —Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan’s Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn 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 friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

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The Orphan's Tale (Pam Jenoff) Book Reviews

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- The Orphan’s Tale5 star

This story totally swept me away, my heart was in my throat through most of it. I loved every character.

- I give up1 star

I love historical fiction books and stories about WW2 but I was bored to tears. I had to force myself to pick it up and was easily distracted. I gave up around page 500. I’m not happy I spent the money on this one

- Captivating4 star

A captivating story with many surprises. It kept my interest all the way through. I loved the stories of both Astrid and Noa. This is the first Jenoff book I have read, but it won’t be the last.

- The Orphan’s Tale2 star

Quite the roller coaster ride. When it ended the coaster crashed and burned. Great writer, but I am now afraid of her “rides.”

- Could not put it down.5 star

Enjoyed every page although the subject is heartbreaking. Compelling. Well written. Did not expect it to end as it did.

- The Orphan's Tale5 star

Powerful read....

- Went by too quickly!4 star

These two friends and their ordeals during WWII will keep you turning pages way too fast and you will have to let them go about the day you meet them. Otherwise, wonderful writing on really tough and heartbreaking subject.

- Secrets can tear failies and bonds apart – but rather emblematic of the time, the secrets held by th5 star

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. I received an eArc copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

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- The orphan’s tale1 star

Poor. Decent plot line but unidentifiable characters. Shallow.

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