Friday, January 13, 2017

The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff

Her parents threw her out when she got pregnant by a German soldier.  She went to a home for unwed mothers and they took her baby away from her because he looked Jewish.  She has no one, no money, no home.  She gets a job at the train station doing maintenance and sleeps in a cubby-hole.  It works.  Until she hears a sound she'll never forget...

Mira and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 21st.

What she hears is babies crying in a boxcar.  She goes out to check on them and finds them on the floor of the boxcar, most not even dressed.  Several are already dead.  She sees a live one that has knitted shoes on his feet and she pulls him out of the car and takes him in with her.  He reminds her of her lost baby.  She knows she'll have to flee because the soldiers and a dog have found her tracks.  She has no time to take anything with her, she just runs through the woods.

This is a sad tale all the way around.  It's based on facts the author found and wove into a story.  The story is fictional but it feels all too real.  It wasn't safe to be Jewish in the days of Hitler's rule.

Noa is found in the woods almost frozen to death and brought back to the circus visiting the area.  They aren't very welcoming.  They don't want any trouble either.  But the owner of the circus assigns her to trapeze work and tells the other trapeze artist to train her.

The two women clash.  Noa is looking for a mother, Astrid doesn't want competition.  Theo, the baby, is in the middle.

The dangers in the book are real and you can feel their fear.  It also made my heart hurt to see all the loss they had to accept.  Grabbing even a moment of happiness is almost impossible.

The ending is very interesting and tied the whole story line together.  It was well worth the read but you won't be smiling much.

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