I was at my online library and came across this book, The Orphan Collector. I’ve read books by this author, Ellen Marie Wiseman, and have very much enjoyed the books. I was excited to read this. It was about the Spanish Flu of 1918.
Here’s what Amazon said about the book.
“In the fall of 1918, thirteen-year-old German immigrant Pia Lange longs to be far from Philadelphia’s overcrowded slums and the anti-immigrant sentiment that compelled her father to enlist in the U.S. Army. But as her city celebrates the end of the war, an even more urgent threat arrives: the Spanish flu. Funeral crepe and quarantine signs appear on doors as victims drop dead in the streets and desperate survivors wear white masks to ward off illness. When food runs out in the cramped tenement she calls home, Pia must venture alone into the quarantined city in search of supplies, leaving her baby brothers behind.
Bernice Groves has become lost in grief and bitterness since her baby died from the Spanish flu. Watching Pia leave her brothers alone, Bernice makes a shocking, life-altering decision. It becomes her sinister mission to tear families apart when they’re at their most vulnerable, planning to transform the city’s orphans and immigrant children into what she feels are “true Americans.”
Waking in a makeshift hospital days after collapsing in the street, Pia is frantic to return home. Instead, she is taken to St. Vincent’s Orphan Asylum – the first step in a long and arduous journey. As Bernice plots to keep the truth hidden at any cost in the months and years that follow, Pia must confront her own shame and fear, risking everything to see justice – and love – triumph at last. Powerful, harrowing, and ultimately exultant, The Orphan Collector is a story of love, resilience, and the lengths we will go to protect those who need us most.”
Amazon readers gave the book 4.6 stars….me, I couldn’t finish it.
I was in the car listening to this as I was driving to my doctor’s appointment last week. The further I drove the more I thought- this book is dumb. I figured I was just distracted thinking about my appointment and trying to remember the questions I wanted to make sure I asked the doctor. So I tried to listen on the way home.
Nope. I couldn’t get into the book. So often “modern” phrases were used instead of period-appropriate phrases. I could overlook that, but the telling of the story was so robotic.
Bernice was a terrible person…so bad it was impossible to believe anyone would be that bad.
It was impossible to believe a sister, even someone desperate and young would lock their infant brothers in a floorboard space in the room with the body of their dead mother who was stinking and rotting so bad that it brought tears to the eyes of the sister.
It seemed like drama for a story and nothing more….but, I still didn’t give up.
Last Saturday I gave it one last try listening again in the car as I went to get groceries. I gave the book another half an hour of my life and then decided nope. I won’t give any more time to this book.
I’m having a hard time believing that I could dislike a book so much that others gave 4.6 stars to. I double-checked to make sure and yes, over 1200 people have reviewed it, and still that good of a rating and it’s listed as a bestseller.
Did any of you read it? Did I not give the book enough of a chance? Was it really a 4.6-star book in your opinion? Please let me know what I’m missing!