Orphans

So many of the world's great books include main characters who are missing one or both parents. This is a place to list some of the best books with orphaned or abandoned characters.
1

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2

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4.13 avg rating — 813,602 ratings
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3

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4.12 avg rating — 1,484,170 ratings
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4

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4.25 avg rating — 653,445 ratings
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5

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4.20 avg rating — 256,109 ratings
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6

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3.93 avg rating — 357,800 ratings
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7

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3.81 avg rating — 1,091,511 ratings
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8

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4.12 avg rating — 152,464 ratings
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9

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3.77 avg rating — 600,895 ratings
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10

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3.86 avg rating — 293,385 ratings
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11

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4.23 avg rating — 181,587 ratings
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12

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3.98 avg rating — 165,438 ratings
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13

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4.37 avg rating — 1,636,164 ratings
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14

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4.27 avg rating — 4,067,340 ratings
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15

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4.09 avg rating — 837,109 ratings
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16

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4.17 avg rating — 281,957 ratings
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17

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4.30 avg rating — 1,157,447 ratings
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18

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3.91 avg rating — 698,078 ratings
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19

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4.10 avg rating — 111,392 ratings
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20

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4.13 avg rating — 403,343 ratings
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21

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4.56 avg rating — 2,438,455 ratings
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22

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4.41 avg rating — 2,395,399 ratings
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23

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4.16 avg rating — 625,886 ratings
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24

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4.04 avg rating — 1,053,981 ratings
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25

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3.98 avg rating — 72,126 ratings
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26

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3.98 avg rating — 127,104 ratings
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27

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3.63 avg rating — 67,368 ratings
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28

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4.17 avg rating — 11,270 ratings
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29

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4.56 avg rating — 2,172,003 ratings
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30

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4.55 avg rating — 2,281,736 ratings
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31

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4.01 avg rating — 89,668 ratings
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32

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4.29 avg rating — 2,221,924 ratings
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33

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4.10 avg rating — 40,179 ratings
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34

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4.29 avg rating — 1,013,085 ratings
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35

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4.13 avg rating — 38,259 ratings
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36

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4.49 avg rating — 2,226,554 ratings
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37

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3.89 avg rating — 1,321,898 ratings
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38

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3.72 avg rating — 31,499 ratings
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39

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3.91 avg rating — 38,884 ratings
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40

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4.15 avg rating — 208,721 ratings
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41

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 41 ratings
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42

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4.07 avg rating — 31,119 ratings
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43

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3.98 avg rating — 369,576 ratings
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44

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4.14 avg rating — 130,015 ratings
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45

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3.81 avg rating — 159,152 ratings
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46

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3.95 avg rating — 883,493 ratings
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47

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3.81 avg rating — 143,336 ratings
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47

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3.58 avg rating — 56,856 ratings
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49

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4.01 avg rating — 33,972 ratings
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50

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3.83 avg rating — 271,129 ratings
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51

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4.30 avg rating — 181,367 ratings
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52

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3.96 avg rating — 28,253 ratings
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53

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3.98 avg rating — 81,905 ratings
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54

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4.32 avg rating — 1,128 ratings
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55

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4.36 avg rating — 1,036,390 ratings
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56

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3.96 avg rating — 478,989 ratings
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57

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3.96 avg rating — 257,814 ratings
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58

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4.22 avg rating — 126,257 ratings
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59

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4.16 avg rating — 340,963 ratings
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60

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3.98 avg rating — 186,656 ratings
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61

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3.97 avg rating — 1,176,211 ratings
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62

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3.70 avg rating — 376 ratings
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63

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3.70 avg rating — 732 ratings
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64

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4.12 avg rating — 152,359 ratings
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65

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3.99 avg rating — 450,581 ratings
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66

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4.21 avg rating — 38,517 ratings
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67

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3.49 avg rating — 24,281 ratings
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68

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4.11 avg rating — 48,120 ratings
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69

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4.18 avg rating — 179,850 ratings
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70

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3.77 avg rating — 27,156 ratings
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70

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3.94 avg rating — 117,531 ratings
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72

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4.01 avg rating — 6,027 ratings
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73

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4.08 avg rating — 185,618 ratings
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74

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4.13 avg rating — 2,361,546 ratings
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75

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4.11 avg rating — 16,427 ratings
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76

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3.89 avg rating — 609,049 ratings
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77

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4.15 avg rating — 605,342 ratings
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78

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3.69 avg rating — 104,625 ratings
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78

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4.20 avg rating — 9,800 ratings
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80

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4.03 avg rating — 66,084 ratings
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81

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3.73 avg rating — 37,676 ratings
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82

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3.71 avg rating — 127,853 ratings
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82

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3.87 avg rating — 32,251 ratings
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84

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3.74 avg rating — 30,429 ratings
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85

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3.79 avg rating — 55,557 ratings
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86

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3.84 avg rating — 71,409 ratings
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87

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3.70 avg rating — 158,961 ratings
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87

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3.84 avg rating — 17,411 ratings
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87

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3.96 avg rating — 307,729 ratings
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90

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4.07 avg rating — 45,766 ratings
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91

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3.91 avg rating — 22,243 ratings
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92

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4.48 avg rating — 4,138 ratings
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93

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3.67 avg rating — 1,603 ratings
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94

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4.26 avg rating — 113 ratings
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95

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4.08 avg rating — 17,621 ratings
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96

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4.24 avg rating — 12,777 ratings
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97

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3.78 avg rating — 14,976 ratings
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97

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4.33 avg rating — 857,791 ratings
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99

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4.03 avg rating — 239,759 ratings
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100

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3.99 avg rating — 157,471 ratings
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583 books · 274 voters · list created January 5th, 2010 by Ruby (votes) .
25 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Ruby 2337 books
50 friends
Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 546 books
463 friends
Mir 12323 books
449 friends
Lobstergirl 4591 books
155 friends
Fiona 2079 books
20 friends
Ashleigh 709 books
180 friends
PurplyCookie 11751 books
452 friends
Amy 303 books
37 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Ruby (new)

Ruby Maybe Scarlet toward the end?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

But she was grown. Is a grown person an orphan? Webster's Concise dictionary says a CHILD whose parents are both dead. Last October my hubby said when his father died that he was now an orphan which struck me as very strange. I think he meant he was bereft.

I have never thought of an adult as an orphan. Is this just me?


message 3: by Ruby (new)

Ruby I don't know. That's a good question. I mean most people in the general population outlive their parents so if we were to define "orphan" only as someone who has lost their parents, then that would include almost everyone.

I think being considered an "orphan" depends more on where the child is in their life emotionally. Maybe the more dependent the child is on their parent the more "orphaned" they are by the loss?

I thought a list with "orphaned" characters was interesting because so many books begin that way. It's sort of an opening through which interesting plotlines can take place. I guess a complete nuclear family provides less fodder for interesting plot?


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree it is more interesting. I hope that people will hold to the old definition and not start including everyone who has lost their parents as an adult. I think a child who loses its parents really suffers and is in a whole different category.


message 5: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl #2 Secrets of the Realm is author circle jerk spam.


message 7: by Caroline (new)

Caroline deleted user wrote: "But she was grown. Is a grown person an orphan? Webster's Concise dictionary says a CHILD whose parents are both dead. Last October my hubby said when his father died that he was now an orphan whic..."

It's not just you. I always considered "orphan" to refer specifically to children. In fact, the dictionary defines it this way. Once a person reaches adulthood, if they lose their parents, they aren't orphans.


message 8: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I think you qualify as an orphan if both your parents are dead by the time you're of age. Let's say, 19 or 20 or 21. However, if an adult child is disabled (rather severely) and subsequently her parents die, she might qualify as an orphan. Maybe it depends on the circumstances.

The list description is not really even accurate - you have to lose both parents to be orphaned. If you lose one parent, then you belong to a single-parent family.


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