What I’m Reading: The Orphan’s Tale

I finished up the audio book The Orphan’s Tale: A Novel by  Pam Jenoff.  This book has periodically come up as a recommended audio book for me on Audible.  I passed it up several times as I’ve been hoping to not read quite as many WWII-Holocaust books.  It kept beckoning to me and finally I gave in and got it.  So was I glad I did??

YES!  The book was great!  It takes place during WWII.  Much of the book follows a circus as they travel through Germany and France during the war.  The circus became a refuge for several people who were Jewish and this is the story.

If you like historical fiction of this time but don’t want to read about concentration camps, shootings and brutality against humans, this is a good book for you to pick.  This is a completely different perspective of any WWII books I’ve read.  The story, filled with love, friendship and triumph, is told by two aerialists, Astrid and Noa.

Here’s what Amazon had to say: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.”

Amazon readers give the book 4.4 stars.  I am going to give the book more… 4.9 stars.  Honestly it’s one of the best books I’ve read in recent times.  I highly recommend it.

2 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Orphan’s Tale”

  1. Thanks for the review of The Orphans Tale. I just reserved it at my library. I seem to be checking out depressing books, I start them and decide that I do not want to waste any more time reading them.

  2. This is a wonderful WW2 book and I have recommended it to many of our patrons (I work at a library). While the story is not true, it is based on the fact that circuses did hid people in plain sight during the war. I read a lot of WW2 material, both fiction and non-fiction, and this book is truly a new take on the genre. Very well researched and written. I also recommend “The Lilac Girls”; another based on fact novel. We recently did a 3 month series on WW2 in the book club I lead and this book was well received. Not as gruesome as some of the concentration camp books.

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