The Orphan's Tale
By: Pam Jenoff
By: Pam Jenoff
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.
This novel takes place during WWII and relates problems facing Europe through a story about communities involved in circus’s. In the pre-war years circuses were owned for generations by the same families and traveled regularly throughout western Europe. Family members all worked for the circus and the success of the family was dependent upon the success of the circus. The book is a story of the ties between these communities and society at large. It is a sensitively written, engaging read.
Pam Jennoff’s book has graced best seller lists. I am not a particular fan of her prose style. However, she tells the story of two women bound together by fate on a circus train during World War II in a riveting narrative. Each of them has much to hide. Jenoff knows her history. This is a paperback edition, not a new title.