I hope you’re all having a jazzy week and doing something mega-awesome. I am ĺoving the sunshine that I see more of these days. It’s about time, summer! Okay, moving on… The book I want to tell you all about this week is called The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff. So, before I get started, I want to say a huge thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for sending me a copy of this book for review. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this book because the description of it on NetGalley is pretty vague. I had a weirdly good feeling about this book though, and requested the heck out of it. With a rating of 4.11 on Goodreads, I feel totally solid about this choice. Since I typically read thrillers and books that aren’t generally packed with sweet moments and things that make me go ‘aww,’ I was happy to find this one. Granted, it definitely wasn’t all sweet and happy, I was relieved to find it nonetheless. This book was also based on the story of a real person, which made it even more spectacular! Okay, I’m really excited to tell you all about this one, so let’s get to the summary!
In the beginning of the book, we meet Noa, a 16 year old, pregnant by a Nazi soldier. Her parents send her away to have the baby in secret and to give it away to the Germans. Unfortunately for Noa, the Germans kind of snatch her baby away from her without giving her a chance to hold the little guy. So rude. In the meantime, Noa lives above a small rail station, which she cleans so that she can stay there. One day, everything changes when Noa discovers a boxcar filled with bunches of babies, headed for a concentration camp. Thinking about her own baby that she just delivered, she grabs one of the infants from the boxcar and runs away into the cold. Noa is absolutely determined to protect this little boy, even at the risk of her own welfare. As Noa runs away, she stumbles upon a German circus. The owner of the circus says he will take her in and protect her and the infant if she will learn how to perform the trapeze act. Now, we meet 29 year old Astrid, a star perforrmer and aerialist, who will need to teach Noa how to perform on the trapeze. Astrid and Noa quickly become rivals, and then a strong friendship forms between the two of them. However, as their own secrets start to threaten their friendship, they each have to decide what this new alliance is worth to them – Will they stand up and save each other?
This book was incredible and I’m so beyond pumped that I found it! I loved Astrid and I could totally understand why she felt threatened by Noa, a young girl who has her whole life ahead of her, and who is training to replace Astrid on the trapeze. I could also understand why Noa felt such a strong connection to the infant that she found and felt like he was her chance to start over. The baby was her opportunity to prove she could be a good mother. The fact that this story was told from Astrid and Noa’s point of view worked really well. These characters’ perspectives worked together in a way that kept the story interesting and awesome. I loved to see the dynamic build between Astrid and Noa as they work together on the trapeze. At various times in the story, I could definitely see how Astrid may have been teaching and coaching a younger version of herself. The characters’ motivations were certainly authentic. Besides the characters, I also really appreciated the description used by the author. Her storytelling style was absolutely wonderful and as I said before, the sweet moments that she wove into this book were just what I needed. The plot also worked perfectly here, and I greatly enjoyed learning about WWII from an alternative viewpoint. The story of a traveling circus that rescues people and keeps them safe was incredible. If there was one thing that I didn’t like as much, it would be the character of Luc, Noa’s beau. The two of them fell in love much too quickly for my taste, and I didn’t really understand the motivation for his character or his relationship with Noa. Besides this detail, I thought that the story was pretty friggin awesome. I would definitely recommend this book to historical fiction buffs and people who are looking for a nice break from their usual reading list. I loved the heck out of this book and definitely think that it is a great story that needed to be told.