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The Orphan's Tale
Cover of The Orphan's Tale
The Orphan's Tale
A Novel
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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—coming soon!A New York Times...
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—coming soon!A New York Times...
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  • 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—coming soon!
    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.

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.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 5, 2016
    Bestselling author Jenoff (The Kommandant’s Girl) depicts two disparate women thrown together by destiny, each hiding a secret from the Nazi regime. Noa’s Dutch family kicks her out of the house after an affair with a Nazi soldier leaves her pregnant. She gives up the child, but in her new life as a train-station washerwoman, she finds a boxcar full of Jewish infants. She rescues one and flees, nearly freezing to death in a distant forest where she is rescued by a member of the famous German Circus Neuhoff; Noa claims the baby is her brother. Astrid Sorrell (born Ingrid Klemt) is forced to separate from her German officer husband when the Reich forces all Jewish intermarriages to be dissolved. A former star in her now-depleted Jewish family’s circus, she, too, finds refuge with the rival Circus Neuhoff, where her Jewish identity will be hidden, and now her boss forces her to teach the pretty Noa the art of the trapeze. Will Noa be able to perform and keep her baby safe? Will anyone discover Astrid’s true identity? Despite their different backgrounds, they find comfort and trust in each other’s friendship. Against the backdrop of circus life during the war, the author captures the very real terrors faced by both women as they navigate their working and personal relationships and their complicated love lives while striving for normalcy and keeping their secrets safe.

  • Kirkus

    November 1, 2016
    A Jewish trapeze artist and a Dutch unwed mother bond, after much aerial practice, as the circus comes to Nazi-occupied France.Ingrid grew up in a Jewish circus family in Darmstadt, Germany. In 1934, she marries Erich, a German officer, and settles in Berlin. In 1942, as the war and Holocaust escalate, Erich is forced to divorce Ingrid. She returns to Darmstadt to find that her family has disappeared. A rival German circus clan, led by its patriarch, Herr Neuhoff, takes her in, giving her a stage name, Astrid, and forged Aryan papers. As she rehearses for the circus' coming French tour, she once again experiences the freedom of an accomplished aerialist, even as her age, late 20s, catches up with her. The point of view shifts (and will alternate throughout) to Noa, a Dutch teenager thrown out by her formerly loving father when she gets pregnant by a German soldier. After leaving the German unwed mothers' home where her infant has been taken away, either for the Reich's Lebensborn adoption program or a worse fate, Noa finds work sweeping a train station. When she comes upon a boxcar full of dead or dying infants, she impulsively grabs one who resembles her own child, later naming him Theo. By chance, Noa and Theo are also rescued by Neuhoff, who offers her refuge in the circus, provided she can learn the trapeze. The tour begins with a stop in Thiers, France. Astrid is still leery of her new apprentice, but Noa catches on quickly and soon must replace Astrid in the act due to the risk that a Nazi spectator might recognize her. Noa falls in love with the mayor's son, Luc, who Astrid suspects is a collaborator. Astrid's Russian lover, Peter, a clown, tempts fate with a goose-stepping satire routine, and soon the circus will afford little protection to anybody. The diction seems too contemporary for the period, and the degree of danger the characters are in is more often summarized than demonstrated. An interesting premise imperfectly executed.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    October 1, 2016
    The author of the internationally best-selling The Kommandant's Girl returns to World War II Germany, where 16-year-old Noa becomes pregnant by a soldier and is compelled to give up both baby and home. Living above a railway station she cleans to pay her bills, she discovers a boxcar full of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp and steals one, joining a traveling circus to cover her tracks. Over-the-top imagination here; with a 300,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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