About the Book: (From Goodreads)
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 façade 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.
My Review: The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff captured me from the very beginning. The Orphan's Tale follows the life of 2 women, Noa and Astrid. You first meet Noa, a sixteen year old who recently had a child. The child was taken from her and now she finds herself abandoned. She works in a train station for food and a room. One night she saves a Jewish baby for a very difficult situation. Now she is on the run to save the child.
Noa finds her way to the circus owned by a German, Herr Neuhoff. Herr is one of those unsung heroes as he attempts to protect various Jewish individuals within his circus. The circus, though in Hitler's Germany, continued to travel and bring entertainment around the country. The circus brought a sense of escape to the attendees. It is definitely a time in need of entertainment/escape to boost morale of those suffering the effects of war: hunger and poverty.
I found the circus life very interesting. Astrid had been with the circus all her life. She started as a small child as an aerialist. Herr Neuhoff takes her into his circus, knowing she is Jewish. She left her family circus after falling in love and marrying a German SS Officer. The marriage is ended abruptly and Astrid is unable to find her family. Astrid and Noa are never really sure who they can trust in Hitler's Germany, but have a strong bond that is tested numerous times.
I really liked Herr Neuhoff for his attempt to protect the Jewish performers in a very dangerous time. The circus life was very close knit and interesting to read about. I felt the characters were very well developed and I cared a great deal about a number of them. The Orphan's Tale continues at a nice pace and the ending was very satisfying. This is my first time reading a book by Pam Jenoff, but won't be my last.
The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff was also reviewed by Crime By the Book, Vilma’s Book Blog, and Clues and Reviews.
**Disclosure – The Orphan’s by Pam Jenoff was received from NetGalley.com reviewer program and MIRA in exchange for a fair review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.