Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"The Orphan's Tale" by Pam Jenoff

The Nightingale meets Water for Elephants in this powerful novel of friendship and sacrifice, set in a traveling circus during World War II, by international bestselling author Pam Jenoff.

Seventeen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier during the occupation of her native Holland. Heartbroken over the loss of the baby she was forced to give up for adoption, she lives above a small German rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep.

When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants, unknown children ripped from their parents and headed for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the baby that was taken from her. In a moment that will change the course of her life, she steals one of the babies and flees into the snowy night, where she is rescued by a German circus.

The circus owner offers to teach Noa 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 unlikely friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.
 ~taken from Goodreads

I'll just start by saying I loved this book. From the moment I started reading it I couldn't put it down. Historical Fiction set during WWII is my favorite genre and this story was from a unique perspective that I hadn't seen printed before. 

We start with a prologue and know that someone from this story is alive in the present. Then we are taken back to the beginning of the story. Both Noa and Astrid's characters are engrossing and believable. Author, Pam Jenoff, did a wonderful job making all the characters multi dimensional. 

This story is told through dual points of view which allowed the reader to get into the story from all sides, which I loved. What starts out as a rivalry between the two main characters turns to a deep friendship that at times will make you cry, make you angry, and make you smile. It was so interesting to see the relationship change and grow.

I will admit that I was surprised to hear that circuses during WWII-torn Europe were still allowed to perform. It brought out a point of view during the war that I had never thought of. All those performers and citizens of the towns just trying to have a few hours of joy and normalcy during such a treacherous time. 

The ending was surprising, yet satisfying. It is a complete story that will not leave you guessing or wondering what happened afterwards. Don't forget to read the author's notes at the end of the book.

The Orphan's Tale is due to be released on February 21, 2017 and I see it as one of the year's best sellers. Pre-order it now! A 5-star read!

Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin (US & Canada) for allowing me the eARC to read and post my honest review!

Happy Reading!

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