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The Orphan Collector

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4.50  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Ellen Marie Wiseman, acclaimed author of What She Left Behind and The Life She Was Given, weaves the stories of two very different women into a page-turning novel as suspenseful as it is poignant, set amid one of historys deadliest pandemics.

In the fall of 1918, thirteen-year-old German immigrant Pia Lange longs to be far from Philadelphias overcrowded streets and slums,
...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: July 28th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corp.
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Average rating 4.50  · 
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Crumb
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
FULL REVIEW NOW UP!

As I write this review, I'm in awe. In awe of this novel, of Ms. Wiseman's writing, and of this story. First, however, let me back up.

It starts with a simple itch in the throat. Suddenly you get a cough. But it's not a regular cough, no. It starts in the bottom of your belly and tears through your chest. Suddenly your hacking. Struggling for air. The next thing you know, your skin is turning a bluish-purple. Then you are dead.

I'm referring to the deadly, catastrophic Spanish
...more
Ellen Wiseman
Nov 07, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
In the fall of 1918, thirteen-year-old German immigrant Pia Lange longs to be far from Philadelphias overcrowded streets and slums, and from the anti-German sentiment that compelled her father to enlist in the U.S. Army, hoping to prove his loyalty. But an even more urgent threat has arrived. Spanish influenza is spreading through the city. Soon, dead and dying are everywhere. With no food at home, Pia must venture out in search of supplies, leaving her infant twin brothers alone . . .

Since her
...more
Ellen Wiseman
Jan 27, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I cant wait for everyone to meet Pia Lange, a young immigrant living in the slums of Philadelphia who loses her mother during the deadly Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 and is left to take care of her twin baby brothers until her father returns from the war. When they run out of supplies, Pia must leave her brothers alone to search the quarantined city for food, with no idea they will be gone when she returns
...more
Melissa
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am such a fan of Ellen Marie Wiseman's writing that I will read her books without even checking the synopses anymore. I just know they'll be great. This time around, I didn't check the synopsis before adding The Orphan Collector to my TBR pile, only to pick it up around the same time as the Coronavirus was starting to make its way around the US. Talk about a timely read!

This is Ellen's best novel to date! While we're complaining about being stuck at home with our kids for the next couple of
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Jenny Belk
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I expected-another five star read. I am a die hard fan of Ellen Marie Wiseman's books. This one kept me up late reading and I didn't mind a bit. The author's trademark for drama and suspense held me captive all the way to the last page. With characters that tug at your heart and some who raise your blood pressure, this story tells the heartbreaking results of the Spanish flu that left parents with no children and thousands of children without parents or a home. It is also a story of ...more
ROBIN RUIZ
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reading a Ellen Marie Wiseman book is a treat. It transports you to that time period, you are sitting in that room, in that house. This book is set during the Spanish influenza, I was in the room, smelling the smells, seeing the sick, hearing the anguish .
Pia lives in the poor district, her mother passes from the plague, her dad is off fighting the war,she leaves the apartment to get food for her twin baby brothers.

Bernice lost her baby son and her husband to this plaque, she sees Pia leave and
...more
Nita
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five Million Stars and beyond! Every book that Ellen Marie Wiseman writes, I say it's her best! But this book is her Masterpiece! Beautifully written! Pia Lange captured my heart from the beginning! Her story shattered my heart and her strength and courage is inspiring! A book that can make me cry and have all the stormy emotions is a good book!

But not only is this a good book, it is a great book in that it makes a time in history come alive and relevant to today! This is a book not to be
...more
Susan Peterson
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ellen Marie Wiseman has written a sensational, emotionally intense novel, combining the best of humanity with the worst, amidst a world war and a pandemic of staggering proportions.Pia is 13 when influenza strikes Philadelphia, loving and bright, and with an uncanny ability to detect sickness by sheer touch. She is lonely and poor, but she is lit from within by sheer determination, bravery, and a resourcefulness beyond her years. Bernice is a grieving mother, driven to do the unspeakable, ...more
Courtney
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-authors, arc
If you haven't read Ellen Marie Wiseman's work before, you're in for a treat with her latest, The Orphan Collector. Wiseman is a master of spinning tales, but more notably, a gifted historian and researcher. Each of her books are packed full of factually accurate details that will wow you, and this is no exception.

A big fan of dystopian literature and historical fiction, this book is squarely in my alley. Although it can't really count as true dystopian, Wiseman paints the Spanish Flu in such
...more
Nancy Bilyeau
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'll add my review closer to pub date!
Steven Zacharius
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
They dont get any better than this wonderful story. ...more
Debra
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ellen Marie Wiseman, with her gift of very descriptive writing and such detailed research, easily transports the reader to this horrible time in history when the deadly Spanish flu was spreading so quickly. She makes you feel like you are there! In the midst of these horrors is a young girl, battling to protect her family as she is confronted by so many villains. Again, Ellen has written a book that you will not be able to put down until the end! In my opinion, this is Ellen Marie Wisemans ...more
Sue
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Readers can always depend on Ellen Marie Wiseman to bring them a emotional, well researched novel with characters so well written that they aren't soon forgotten. Her newest book checks off all the boxes and her exquisite writing takes us to a time in history that will be new to many people.

The year is 1918 and the people of Philadelphia are all crowded together to see the Liberty Loan Parade, where overwhelming crowds of over 200,000 are gathered in Center City to cheer their WWI veterans, buy
...more
Vivian Payton
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Set in the fall of 1918 when the Spanish flu breaks out and running rampant, thirteen-year-old Pia Lange experiences what no young child should ever have to. The war is finally over, but her father is still stationed in France. Living with her four-month-old twin brothers, Ollie and Max, and her mother in a tenement in Philadelphia, these very poor German immigrants find life extremely rough, but their family bonds are very strong. Unexpectedly, Pias mother becomes ill with the flu and ...more
Barb
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Orphan Collector by, Ellen Marie Wiseman

NO SPOILERS.


Ellen Marie Wiseman is a wonderful author, and each and every novel she writes is a prize to read. She has meticulous character development, which is very descriptive and thorough. She researches her topics, and is excellent in setting the stage and background for the book.
The setting for this novel was Philadelphia in 1918-1919 when the Spanish Influenza hit hard and killed millions of people: men, women and children all over the world.

...more
Jackie
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A first by me by this amazing author will not be my last. This book based on The Spanish Flu in 1918 in Philadelphia. I absolutely love historical books based on true events. This book is based also in my hometown and includes many places that were right down the street from me. Pias story of such sadness and amazing courage during such a tragic moment in life brought me to tears. Once her mother died suddenly she had to care for her 2 infant twin brothers with no means to do so as they were ...more
Sarah K
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ellen Marie Wiseman's The Orphan Collector was incredible to read. The highest of highs, the lowest of lows. Parts of this novel were horrific to read... just considering how orphans were treated historically. I fear that their situation is not always much better today.

Pia, the young 13 year old girl in the center of this novel, experiences unbelievable heartache and pain as a result of the Spanish Flu and her subsequent life in the orphanage. Her story's intersection with Nurse Wallis begins
...more
Nikola
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Nicolajsen
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great new book from Ellen!
Kirsten
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
review to come,

but - put this on your "Must Read" shelf
you want to read this book!
Donna Hines
The world will be forever changed and altered as we know it!
It begins in 1918 during the Spanish Flu which has killed millions and many more orphaned.
Pia was just 13 years old when she lost her mother Mutti while her father worked long hours away.
To save the family she must do whatever she can for survival such as eating violets and wearing masks while rummaging through the homes of those who passed for specs of food left behind.
It's a cruel-cruel-world!
She must save her baby brothers (twins)
...more
Tristan Munoz
Mar 05, 2020 rated it liked it
1918 was a time of stress and sorrow for people all over the world - WWI was raging, and the Spanish Flu was rampant. In Philadephia, 13 year old Pia and her family experience discrimintion and bullying due to their German heritage, on top of dealing with these daily pressures- the Spanish Flu sweeps through the city, killing thousands. Pias mother becomes one of the victims of the flu. Left to care for her infant twin brothers, Pia must make some tough decisions. When she discovers her brothers ...more
Tristan Munoz
1918 was a time of stress and sorrow for people all over the world - WWI was raging, and the Spanish Flu was rampant. In Philadephia, 13 year old Pia and her family experience discrimintion and bullying due to their German heritage, on top of dealing with these daily pressures- the Spanish Flu sweeps through the city, killing thousands. Pias mother becomes one of the victims of the flu. Left to care for her infant twin brothers, Pia must make some tough decisions. When she discovers her brothers ...more
Karen
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I picked up the ARC of this novel a few weeks ago at a library conference, we lived in a very different world. Finishing the book today, the scenes of a city in terror of a deadly illness look awfully familiar (and the US isn't even in full quarantine shutdown mode yet). However, I wouldn't say that the Spanish flu is the driving factor in this book. What kept me reading was the sense of inequality and injustice in Wiseman's Philadelphia. Pia makes a choice she that she very quickly comes ...more
Sarah
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Early edition book club read.

What a beautiful story of young Pia who's momma was hit with the Spanish Flu while her father was off fighting in the war, leaving her alone with her infant brothers. Pia made the choice to leave her brothers in a cubby while she went out to find food. A decision that forever changed her life.
This is the story of how Pia struggled to stay alive while trying to find her brothers. The heartache and triumph are unbelievably remarkable.
Despite the length, I couldn't
...more
Nita
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Five Million Stars and beyond! Every book that Ellen Marie Wiseman writes, I say it's her best! But this book is her Masterpiece! Beautifully written! Pia Lange captured my heart from the beginning! Her story shattered my heart and her strength and courage is inspiring! A book that can make me cry and have all the stormy emotions is a good book!

But not only is this a good book, it is a great book in that it makes a time in history come alive and relevant to today! This is a book not to be
...more
Lib
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book you can not out down once started. The characters are believable, and your heart is in knots at many times during Pias struggle to find her twin brothers during the Spanish Flu. This novel even though not factual, highlighted the various human beliefs, actions and thoughts when faced with fear, hardships and loss. Some are kind and giving while others bias, racism and bigotry lead them to act in ways they perhaps would not consider in better times. A book when published will make ...more
Julie Toole
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was fascinated with the Spanish flu epidemic. Pia is caught in a difficult situation, making a decision that she lives to regret. Blaming herself, she does everything in her power to find out what happened to those she dearly loves.

I cant even imagine how hard it would be to live during a pandemic. Ellen Marie Wiseman brings this era to life, creating a chilling reality of despair and hope, love and lose and friendship and foe. There are some things I didnt like, but I have to remember that
...more
Chantal
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another phenomenal book by Ellen Marie Wiseman! I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced copy. This one took me a little longer than normal to get into but it did not disappoint!
Jeane Bellows
Nov 16, 2019 marked it as to-read
I have read all of her books and looking forward to this one.
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A first-generation German American, Ellen Marie Wiseman discovered her love of reading and writing while attending first grade in one of the last one-room schoolhouses in NYS. She is a bestselling author whose novels have been translated into eighteen languages. Her debut novel, THE PLUM TREE, is loosely based on her mothers stories about growing up in Germany during the chaos of WWII. THE PLUM ...more

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