#FuturisticFriday review: The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff


Photo credit: Mira

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

The Orphan’s Tale

Summary: 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.

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

So, only having read Pam’s The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach before, I knew I was in for a good tale with The Orphan’s Tale! After reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, I have become increasingly choosy about my WWII reads because I feel so emotionally fatigued after reading, picturing, learning more about this time frame in history.

Being hailed as The Nightingale meets Water for Elephants, The Orphan’s Tale does bring to mind both of those books, but it is also SO much more.

What I liked:

The cover. It’s heartbreaking once you realize what the cover means. But it’s still a good cover.

Astrid. Listen, that woman has strength like nobody’s business. Life kept knocking her and she kept getting on up.

The ending. I ugly cried so hard and my kitty cat looked alarmed at the amount of Kleenex I went  through.


Random thoughts:

Noa was a great character- her impulsiveness and young age was a liability at times and sometimes I wanted to reach in and shake her.

Astrid and Noa, at first I wondered how their dynamic was going to play out- but I soon realized that it was going to me a mom/daughter type relationship. Because Astrid knew the meaness of the world, knew what people were  capable of (even the people that loved you) she was trying to prepare Noa, to get her to temper some of that impulsive behavior- because it was not anymore just Noa’s life- it was so many more who could be brought down.


Bottom line: I absolutely loved this book and think it should be on your TBR list immediately.


*This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.*


*The Orphan’s Tale is a February #FuturisticFriday selection from Traveling With T.*


Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

T @ Traveling With T

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4 thoughts on “#FuturisticFriday review: The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

  1. momssmallvictories says:

    This sounds heartbreaking and fabulous. I started reading The Nightingale but have not gotten very far yet. Putting The Orphan Train on my TBR!

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