Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Orphan's Tale, Pam Jenoff

*Click here for an affiliate link to buy this book!*

In recent months I've been slightly addicted to historical fiction. I've strayed from that a bit in the last few weeks, but I'm going to get back to it soon - I can guarantee it. Mostly because I have finally been officially indoctrinated into Pam Jenoff's writing.

The Orphan's Tale (affiliate link, as are all book purchasing links throughout this post) is the first book of Jenoff's I have read, and it was so so good. Such a powerful story. I had downloaded some of her books to my Kindle and just never got around to reading them. That will change now. Oh - also - I got this one from NetGalley - but my opinions are 100% mine. I think y'all know me well enough to know that.

So. Why this book? What is it about this book that pulls you in?

Set in a time where Jews had to hide, it struck me. Extremely close to home, maybe? I've admitted to living with heartache in the change of our political climate here in America. I've admitted to being terrified and hoping beyond hope that I should never have to face what was faced by my ancestors so many years ago.

The setting of this book is a traveling circus.

Let that sink in for a second. A traveling circus. In the days of Nazi Germany.

I would never have known it. Never have expected it. But there it is - seemingly completely and utterly out there. And yet. It's based on truth.

There WERE traveling circuses in the days of Nazi Germany.

The circus was an escape. A method of entertainment. Ringmasters - circus executives - they not only ran and coordinated these massive events, but they helped hide the Jews.

But back to the story.

The Orphan's Tale carried us through the lives of Noa and Astrid. And honestly? I can't remember who we met first. The two became so intertwined, I can't place it. I probably, in reflection, will mix up which was which.

I know young Noa had a baby and was forced to give her baby up to the Germans.

I know Astrid was the Jew who grew up in a circus family and ultimately found her way back - to wind up hidden and saved by the competing circus. Astrid was the star. The trapeze artist you could imagine flying through the air.

Astrid became Noa's teacher. Noa. The young girl who showed up with an infant, claiming he was her brother. Who was this baby? We know - the readers - but nobody else does. Though they expect her to actually be his mother. Confused? Good. I'm trying to sort of toss it all out there in a way that makes you WANT to pick up this book.

Did it work yet?

But seriously, the connection between these two young women - the shared history that they don't even know they have - the strength they exhibit - their attachment to Noa's young baby 'brother'. It's all so moving, powerful, intense, real.

There are so many other incredible characters, I'm at a loss as to where to begin, who else to include - I just encourage you to pick up or download a copy for yourself. You'll thank me. I'm sure of it.

The Orphan's Tale is such a wonderful historical fiction read I'm not only reviewing it here, but I have also included it in this list of 5 Incredible Historical Fiction Reads that I shared on Midlife Boulevard. It's just that good.

Again, for your purchasing convenience, please use this affiliate link: http://amzn.to/2mlH6a1

And for some more incredible book recommendations:

10 Authors of Color To Add To Your Library

17 Books You Must Read in 2017

13 Authors Who Will Make You Laugh Out Loud


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