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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4.47 avg rating — 7,110,997 ratings
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2

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4.13 avg rating — 898,751 ratings
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3

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4.26 avg rating — 734,016 ratings
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4

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4.13 avg rating — 1,635,099 ratings
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5

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4.20 avg rating — 273,300 ratings
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6

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3.95 avg rating — 401,209 ratings
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7

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3.82 avg rating — 1,156,067 ratings
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8

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4.13 avg rating — 169,236 ratings
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9

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3.87 avg rating — 321,352 ratings
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10

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4.23 avg rating — 194,532 ratings
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11

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3.78 avg rating — 655,439 ratings
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12

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3.99 avg rating — 173,388 ratings
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13

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4.37 avg rating — 1,848,892 ratings
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14

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4.28 avg rating — 4,534,455 ratings
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15

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4.10 avg rating — 945,917 ratings
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16

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4.18 avg rating — 303,577 ratings
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17

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4.31 avg rating — 1,379,631 ratings
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18

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3.91 avg rating — 763,239 ratings
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19

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4.11 avg rating — 119,796 ratings
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20

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4.13 avg rating — 442,899 ratings
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21

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4.57 avg rating — 2,834,252 ratings
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22

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4.43 avg rating — 2,751,907 ratings
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23

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4.18 avg rating — 686,196 ratings
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24

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4.06 avg rating — 1,121,879 ratings
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25

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3.98 avg rating — 77,144 ratings
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26

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4.30 avg rating — 2,441,257 ratings
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27

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3.98 avg rating — 136,315 ratings
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28

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4.30 avg rating — 1,079,376 ratings
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29

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3.65 avg rating — 75,207 ratings
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30

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4.19 avg rating — 12,528 ratings
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31

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4.57 avg rating — 2,457,980 ratings
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32

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4.56 avg rating — 2,616,968 ratings
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33

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4.09 avg rating — 43,358 ratings
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34

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3.72 avg rating — 33,116 ratings
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35

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4.15 avg rating — 46,859 ratings
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36

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 97,827 ratings
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37

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4.50 avg rating — 2,529,563 ratings
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38

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3.90 avg rating — 1,447,277 ratings
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39

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3.98 avg rating — 389,630 ratings
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40

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3.91 avg rating — 41,882 ratings
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41

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3.97 avg rating — 975,843 ratings
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42

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4.15 avg rating — 237,544 ratings
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43

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 41 ratings
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44

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3.83 avg rating — 294,296 ratings
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45

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4.05 avg rating — 33,369 ratings
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46

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4.11 avg rating — 144,659 ratings
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47

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3.81 avg rating — 173,611 ratings
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48

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3.82 avg rating — 162,221 ratings
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48

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3.59 avg rating — 67,800 ratings
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50

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4.01 avg rating — 35,147 ratings
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51

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4.26 avg rating — 219,895 ratings
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52

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3.98 avg rating — 87,351 ratings
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53

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4.30 avg rating — 1,723 ratings
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54

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4.38 avg rating — 1,160,025 ratings
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55

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3.96 avg rating — 498,477 ratings
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56

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3.96 avg rating — 273,907 ratings
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57

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4.20 avg rating — 146,566 ratings
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58

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4.17 avg rating — 374,813 ratings
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59

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3.95 avg rating — 30,569 ratings
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60

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 200,025 ratings
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61

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3.99 avg rating — 1,293,087 ratings
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62

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3.74 avg rating — 419 ratings
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63

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3.69 avg rating — 741 ratings
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64

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3.89 avg rating — 667,140 ratings
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65

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4.13 avg rating — 161,884 ratings
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66

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 488,102 ratings
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67

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4.21 avg rating — 39,863 ratings
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68

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3.50 avg rating — 27,659 ratings
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69

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4.11 avg rating — 51,254 ratings
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70

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4.17 avg rating — 194,097 ratings
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71

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3.78 avg rating — 28,351 ratings
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71

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3.94 avg rating — 129,884 ratings
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73

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 6,308 ratings
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74

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3.79 avg rating — 57,867 ratings
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75

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4.08 avg rating — 195,939 ratings
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76

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4.14 avg rating — 2,623,207 ratings
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77

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4.11 avg rating — 16,979 ratings
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78

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4.14 avg rating — 690,484 ratings
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79

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3.71 avg rating — 112,179 ratings
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79

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4.21 avg rating — 10,166 ratings
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81

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4.01 avg rating — 72,814 ratings
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82

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3.74 avg rating — 41,549 ratings
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83

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4.16 avg rating — 11,707 ratings
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84

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3.72 avg rating — 137,481 ratings
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84

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3.87 avg rating — 33,128 ratings
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86

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3.84 avg rating — 76,277 ratings
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87

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3.71 avg rating — 171,941 ratings
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87

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3.85 avg rating — 18,655 ratings
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87

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3.97 avg rating — 322,414 ratings
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90

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4.07 avg rating — 48,472 ratings
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91

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3.90 avg rating — 23,355 ratings
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92

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4.48 avg rating — 4,253 ratings
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93

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3.68 avg rating — 1,656 ratings
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94

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4.22 avg rating — 115 ratings
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95

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4.08 avg rating — 18,616 ratings
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96

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4.25 avg rating — 13,472 ratings
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97

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3.75 avg rating — 16,711 ratings
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97

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4.33 avg rating — 1,037,386 ratings
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99

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3.99 avg rating — 314,749 ratings
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100

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3.99 avg rating — 172,743 ratings
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flag this list (?)
642 books · 284 voters · list created January 5th, 2010 by Ruby (votes) .
29 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Ruby 2417 books
51 friends
Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 545 books
511 friends
Mir 12892 books
452 friends
Lobstergirl 4724 books
155 friends
Ashleigh 729 books
182 friends
PurplyCookie 11755 books
466 friends
Amy 303 books
38 friends
Bookworm007 1873 books
2 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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