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Publisher's Summary

Seven-year-old Chellamuthu's life - and his destiny - is forever changed when he is kidnapped from his village in Southern India and sold to the Lincoln Home for Homeless Children. His family is desperate to find him, and Chellamuthu anxiously tells the Indian orphanage that he is not an orphan, he has a mother who loves him. But he is told not to worry, he will soon be adopted by a loving family in America.

Chellamuthu is suddenly surrounded by a foreign land and a foreign language. He can't tell people that he already has a family and becomes consumed by a single impossible question: How do I get home? But after more than a decade, home becomes a much more complicated idea as the Indian boy eventually sheds his past and receives a new name: Taj Khyber Rowland.

It isn't until Taj meets an Indian family who help him rediscover his roots - as well as marrying Priya, his wife, who helps him unveil the secrets of his past - that he begins to discover the truth he has all but forgotten. Taj is determined to return to India and begin the quest to find his birth family. But is it too late? Is it possible that his birth mother is still looking for him? And which family does he belong to now?

From the best-selling author of The Rent Collector, this is a deeply moving and gripping journey about discovering oneself and the unbreakable family bonds that connect us forever.

©2016 Camron Wright (P)2016 Shadow Mountain

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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

5 Star Worthy

I haven't read a "five star worthy" book in sometime. This has to be one of the best books I've ever read in my life from beginning to end. It has a powerful message to never give up. Along the way there is suspense, hilarious situations, a beautiful romance, this book has it all! I would recommend it to anybody who wants to walk away from a book feeling uplifted and inspired to go out and accomplish anything!

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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

Amazing story

Simon Vance is a versatile narrator and make the story come alive. Liked the first part of the story best . I didn't think that the writing was a good the second half.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • Milwaukee, WI, United States
  • 12-06-16

Two Stories?

The first half of the story flowed smoothly with interesting a fully developed characters. What happened?!? As the central figure reached adulthood and began his search, the characters became flattened and irritating. Kelly's platitudes and arm chair psychology were annoying. Chris was one - dimensional with unclear motivation. A great start that fizzled in execution. Spectacular narration.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alison
  • Provo, UT, United States
  • 10-14-16

Beautiful, whitty and appropriate for all

This book made me laugh and also made me tear up. It was an extraordinary and heart wrenching story and it was written in a way that made it possible for my young daughter to listen along with me. I absolutely loved it and highly recommend it to everyone.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Have told 5 people to read it... in 2 days

1st - may I say there are a lot of 5 star reviews on this book that are purchased... sooo frustrating, I hate it when publishers do that to market books. However, to me this was a 5 star read... so I was surprised they had bothered paying for it.

In 2016 I read and reviewed "A Long Way Home" by Saroo Brierley. The events in these books are very similar, however, I wrote about that book..."the writing style and reading of the book are average at best and at times irritating."

For this book Taj shared his story with Camron Wright and the result is powerful. I much prefer the fictionalization of this book, it reads clearer with colorful detail. I couldn't put it down.

The start of the book is better than the end, as noted by another reviewer. Perhaps they were rushed with a deadline.... the personality of Taj just didn't come through as clearly... but it was still amazing.

The author clarifies at the end which portions were fictionalized and why... and the saying "truth is stranger than fiction" surely applies to this book.

This is now on my "most beloved books" list.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

similar to Lion but a great listen

liked it. but the story was so similar to Lion...but it was more complete. enjoyed the start to finish and that it was true. great inspiration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

In some ways. Good story telling of his life before kdinapping and while in the orphanage. Too quick through life being adopted and glossed over from childhood to adulthood.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Concentrated more on the adjustment of the kidnapped child to young adulthood. Not enough time was spent on this transition.

Which scene was your favorite?

Chellamutu seeing the orphange bathroom and "toilet" for the first time.

Was The Orphan Keeper worth the listening time?

In some ways yes, in other's no. It was obviously important for the author to tell the "miracle" of the story, but not enough to really have us understand his childhood and youthful struggle. Also, creating the study abroad story really lessened the value of his discovery, in order to satisy a general audience. Discovering himself while serving a mission actually shouldnt have been shied away from. After listening to A Long Way Home - you cant help to compare. It doesnt lessen HIs story and experience - I think I would have rather had Taj tell me his story, the true story, rather than listened to a Fiction rendition of his experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic! Absolutely Fascinating!

I am normally very easily distracted when listening to Simon Vance's narration; however, it was very good this time. This book is so absorbing that it joins the ranks of my all-time favorites. The story is incredible and very well written. I hung on every word, astounded that this was based on a true account. If only more books could be this captivating. I am going to read The Rent Collector next--a second book by Camron Wright.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book based on a true story

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The main character's story is based on a true story about a boy who is kidnapped from his family in India and adopted by a family in the United States. I enjoyed learning more about the Indian culture through various characters in the story. There were a few parts that seemed too predictable to be true, but maybe they were!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Frances
  • Richmond, CA, United States
  • 03-15-17

Wonderful story

Wonderful story with happy ending. I wish the writing was not so condescending and wish a little more affection between Tan and adopted parents. Also some evidence of a boy/man's skills and talents. Did he really treat Chris like that? So very disrespectful.. hard to believe he did not observe any social norms. I cringed at the cliches but wanted to know the ending. It could have been so much better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful