The Orphan's Tale

The Orphan's Tale

Book - 2017
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Sixteen-year-old Noa, forced to give up her baby fathered by a Nazi soldier, snatches a child from a boxcar containing Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp and takes refuge with a traveling circus, where Astrid, a Jewish aerialist, becomes her mentor.
Publisher: Don Mills, Ontario : Mira, ♭2017.
ISBN: 9780778319818
Characteristics: 344 pages ;,25 cm.


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Mar 13, 2020

I enjoyed this book. The characters of Noa and Atrid were well developed and I thought the author did an excellent job of building the relationship between the two. The earlier relationships between Astrid and her first husband and between Noa and her father were fairly sketchy but I was fine with that as these relationships were important to the story but did not need to be fully developed to have bring their importance to the main story. The same goes for the hard work involved in Noa learning to become an aerialist. The important part was the building relationship between Astrid as teacher and Noa as student through this exercise. I was really worried about how this book would end but was ultimately satisfied with the ending as it applied to all of the major characters.

Jan 27, 2020


Jan 06, 2020

Jenoff explores hidden bits of World War II through the eyes of two women who end up in an unlikely place. Noa, a 17-year-old Dutch girl, finds herself in Germany when her family kicks her out for becoming pregnant by a German soldier. Astrid finds herself back in Darmstadt when her SS husband divorces her for being Jewish. When both are taken in by the Neuhoff Circus, their paths collide. Told through alternating viewpoints, their fates intertwine until a fatal accident separates them forever. Jenoff uses deft characterization and rapid plotting to illustrate how war changes lives forever. This book is the January 2020 selection for the Willa Cather Book Club.

Aug 31, 2019

I did not enjoy reading it. I felt like the author could have used certain character elements to build suspense, and create character depth but instead used long, over-detailed sentences. I did not make it past the first chapter.

Jul 27, 2019

Although I found some parts of the book drawn out, it was interesting to learn of the life in the circus during war-torn Europe. Several of these family-owned circuses harbored serval Jews, several of them whose lives were saved. The main character, Ingrid (a.k.a. Astrid) and her friend Noa, develop a complicated and yet deep relationship. In fact, the orphan Theo is not the main character. The story is about the two women who save him. The ending is unexpected and does not reveal itself until the end of the novel. Quick read.

Apr 15, 2019

Good, fast read but not as good as the Lost Girls of Paris, read that one first

Feb 27, 2019

A poorly-written story that seems to have been written only to swing along on the popularity of "Orphan Train" (a similar cover and title, and I would hope, a much better book) and the popularity of World War II stories in general, with a nod to the circus backdrop of the also-popular "Water For Elephants".
There's barely any mention of the particular orphan in this story; it seems more like a heartwarming and handy lure to have an orphan kicking around, just to get people to read the story.
The last few pages are a comically desperate attempt to wrap everything up.

Feb 22, 2019

I did enjoy a different aspect of this time in history with the circus acts, the rough life and how they hid Jewish people among them. It was a nice read, but the story somehow never really grabbed me.

Jul 15, 2018

overall very good. At one stage, devolved into romance novel intentions, but overall a good story

Jun 23, 2018

Despite the tragedies in this story, it is told with absolute truth . We must never forget history lest we repeat it.

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