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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Pam Jenoff (P)2017 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,524
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    716
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    295
  • 2 Stars
    77
  • 1 Stars
    36

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,554
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    606
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    212
  • 2 Stars
    54
  • 1 Stars
    29

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    626
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    270
  • 2 Stars
    87
  • 1 Stars
    45
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Sappy and tedious

What should have been a compelling story is undermined by overblown and repetitive sentences. The result is you don't care very much for the two main characters. There are too many themes competing for attention without much depth provided for any of them. This is more a young adult novel.

105 of 110 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WWII story told from a unique perspective

This is a fantastic story of self-sacrifice, loss, and love during World War II, told from the unique perspective of circus performers. The author did a great job of weaving together the stories of people who were considered outcasts of society for various reasons and how they pulled together to earn a living while enduring persecution and hiding a few Jewish comrades in plain sight of their enemies.

51 of 54 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Complete nonsense

So many historical inaccuracies. Really insulting to anyone who is interested in history period. The narrators made so many mispronunciations that it was almost impossible to listen to. Also they were trying so hard at the accents that they completely lost their ability to express emotion. Read In the garden of beasts or all the light we cannot see. Avoid this. I wish I had.

41 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kathryn
  • MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States
  • 06-07-17

Awful!

This story had such promise. The writing was juvenile, the struggles repetitive, and the narration was hard to listen to. The accents were not at all helpful. When the female narrators tried to sound like men they sound dim-witted. I can't believe I made it through to the end.

48 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Similar story to the Nightengale

Great story, I wasn't sure about the circus theme at first, not a fan, but, the story won me over.

33 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Don't judge a book by its review.

I really enjoyed this book. No it didn't go into a lot of details about WWII which was a disappointment according to some reviews. But even the description stated WWII was the time period. One review even said the book was just a story about a circus which couldn't be farther from true. The circus was the backdrop for the story. The story takes place during WWII and follows a group of people who are persecuted, and or rejected and hunted by Nazi Germany that work for a traveling circus. It tells of their hardships, their unity, the distrusts and bonds formed during this time period. It's tells so much more than just about a circus. However, you wouldn't get that from some reviews. So stop reading the reviews to judge whether or not to read the book and just read it and form your own opinion. Remember opinions are like belly buttons, some are cute and some are ugly but everyone has one. Read the book and form your own.

85 of 97 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • A.
  • Merritt Island, FL, United States
  • 03-11-17

Enjoyed iit

Unforgettable story. It was a good rendition of those horrible war times from a different perspective.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

What a wonderful book! Twisting and turning, drawing you in with the characters! Remarkable and impactful!!

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Felice
  • Queensbury, New York USA
  • 03-20-17

Great story!

Terrific narration. Enjoyed thoroughly. I am a reading teacher and devour books, so you can trust my recommendation.

29 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

Full of surprises until the last moment. We listen to 3-4 books a month and this was such a fresh story to hear, with less gore and sex and overall cursing than many of the others unnecessarily include.

29 of 36 people found this review helpful