The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff
A Novel

74%

7 Critic Reviews

Through the darkness of war, the circus lights twinkle on, the circus family lives and loves and laughs, all while beautiful athletes fly high above the crowd. It may seem a bit too neat and Hallmarkian to some, but Jenoff has written a tribute to the human spirit that soars in the midst of epic despair.
-NPR

Synopsis

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 Pam Jenoff

See more books from this 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.
 
Published March 1, 2017 by MIRA. 368 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Mar 12 2017
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Orphan's Tale
All: 7 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Below average
on Oct 19 2016

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.

Read Full Review of The Orphan's Tale: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on May 05 2017

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.

Read Full Review of The Orphan's Tale: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Jean Zimmerman on Feb 21 2017

Through the darkness of war, the circus lights twinkle on, the circus family lives and loves and laughs, all while beautiful athletes fly high above the crowd. It may seem a bit too neat and Hallmarkian to some, but Jenoff has written a tribute to the human spirit that soars in the midst of epic despair.

Read Full Review of The Orphan's Tale: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

The Bookbag

Good
Reviewed by Ani Johnson on Feb 01 2017

In the end we realise that this is as unpredictable a story as it is one bearing a fitting tribute. For some unknown reason the rescue circuses of the war have remained in an undeserved silent siding up until now. Hopefully, thanks to people like Pam, their days of obscurity are now over.

Read Full Review of The Orphan's Tale: A Novel

The Bookbag

Good
Reviewed by Ani Johnson on Feb 01 2017

In the end we realise that this is as unpredictable a story as it is one bearing a fitting tribute. For some unknown reason the rescue circuses of the war have remained in an undeserved silent siding up until now. Hopefully, thanks to people like Pam, their days of obscurity are now over.

Read Full Review of The Orphan's Tale: A Novel

Washington Independent Review of Books

Good
Reviewed by Bryana Fern on Mar 07 2017

...between these moments of suspense, terror, and heartbreak, Jenoff lets the light of joy shine through. In a world where there is always war, Jenoff seems to be saying that sometimes we must make our own happiness.

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https://historicalnovelsociety.org

Good
Reviewed by Jeanne Greene on Feb 01 2017

...has created characters—a Dutch teenager and a young Jewish woman—who approach a dangerous challenge from very different perspectives. Alternating chapters narrated by Noa and Astrid adds another layer of suspense to the plot. Fans of romantic suspense or European circus history will enjoy The Orphan’s Tale.

Read Full Review of The Orphan's Tale: A Novel

Reader Rating for The Orphan's Tale
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 455 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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