I loved getting to spend time with some favorite characters again. I enjoyed the friendship between Odette, Clarice and Barbara Jean. In this one therI loved getting to spend time with some favorite characters again. I enjoyed the friendship between Odette, Clarice and Barbara Jean. In this one there is more focus on Clarice and her anxiety over her career and Odette and her husband with Barbara Jean getting less attention. Veronica as usual brings the crazy but nothing tops Sharon's wedding from the first book :) Overall a fun book but I prefer the warmth of the first book. Full review to come....more
I would have preferred less emphasis on the romance but considering it's a Jill Shalvis novel I'm not surprised. For her first foray into "women's ficI would have preferred less emphasis on the romance but considering it's a Jill Shalvis novel I'm not surprised. For her first foray into "women's fiction " it's not bad at all but not on the level of Kristan Higgins. Full review to come....more
Nikki gets a job teaching what she believes will be a creative writing class at the Sikh community center but when she arrives, she realizes that herNikki gets a job teaching what she believes will be a creative writing class at the Sikh community center but when she arrives, she realizes that her students (all Punjabi widows) are barely literate. She tries to teach them to read and write anyway but they decide that they want to tell erotic stories which she transcribes even though they could get in serious trouble from the strict men who police the Sikh community. Nikki gets to know the women in her class and realizes that though society marginalizes them, they are still full of life and have much to teach her....more
Didn't really know much about the Hindenburg disaster till I read this. While it is highly fictionalized (reason for explosion, etc.) it was an intereDidn't really know much about the Hindenburg disaster till I read this. While it is highly fictionalized (reason for explosion, etc.) it was an interesting page turner. Curious to see what the other book club members thought of it....more
Ingrid's family once had a very successful circus until they could no longer perform. As Jews, it was illegal for them to have non Jewish employees anIngrid's family once had a very successful circus until they could no longer perform. As Jews, it was illegal for them to have non Jewish employees and gradually the business fell apart. Ingrid had fallen in love and married a young man, moving to Berlin. Unfortunately he was also a Nazi and though he loved Ingrid, when their marriage was declared illegal, he divorced her. She returned to the family home only to find they were gone. She hadn't heard from them in months and now feared the worst. Thankfully she was given refuge by a neighbor and leader of a rival circus, Herr Neuhoff. Herr Neuhoff offers Ingrid a place with his circus as a trapeze artist and she accepts, knowing she doesn't have much choice. Fortunately he turns out to be a very kind man and though Ingrid (now renamed Astrid for her protection) initially struggles to fit in, she even finds new love. Then they discover a young girl and a baby in the snow...
Noa stumbles across the Neuhoff circus after she rescues a Jewish baby from a train car. Herr Neuhoff takes her in but she has to join the circus act. Noa has gymnastic skills but it has been a long time and training to be an aerialist is a challenge. It doesn't help that Astrid doesn't seem to like her or believe she can do it. Reluctantly Astrid and Noa become friends but danger is always around them with Nazi officials prowling.
The Orphan's Tale is reminiscent of Water for Elephants in that it is about circus life. What makes it different is that it takes place in WWII Europe. It is both an emotional story and a fascinating look at circus life during a difficult time in history. I don't know how realistic it would be for someone like Noa to learn to be an aerialist but it was certainly interesting to read about. On the surface Noa and Astrid seem so different but they both have hidden strength that allows them to survive so much suffering. The danger of discovery by the Nazis is a constant threat and there are also other dangers involved with being part of a circus act. I thought the friendship that developed between Noa and Astrid was natural but the romantic relationship between Noa and Luc didn't work as well. It just seemed rushed. While Astrid and Peter's romance begins off the page, we at least get to see some growth and development there. We get to know Peter but the addition of Luc felt like a convenient plot point.
Overall I thought this book was fantastic. The story was touching and suspenseful and I enjoyed the added historical details as well. I had no idea circuses were operating in Europe during the war. I think readers who liked Water for Elephants or historical fiction set during WWII would like this. It would be a great selection for book discussion groups too....more