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The Orphan's Tale
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Archive: Other Books > The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff- 4.5 Stars

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message 1: by Joi (last edited May 30, 2017 11:15AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3782 comments I'm teetering between 4-5 stars on this. I feel like every other book I read nowadays is about WWII now. This one follows two young women whose stories interact early. Noa, a young mother forced to give up her baby finds a traincart full of babies, makes a rash decision to steal one, and runs off and finds herself at the steps of the circus. Meanwhile, Astrid left her circus past to marry a Nazi- now that their marriage is deemed invalid, she comes back to a competing circus and lives the life once again.

I loved the characters in this. Each was driven, all actions were motivated with clarity, thoughts were processed, and time was carefully given to both the main girls, and their secondary counterparts. I felt extremely invested with the decisions the characters were making, and in their lives themselves. I also like when historical fiction has some real history lessons in it (you can tell the author has done her research). I liked the "new" spin on WWII historical fiction- with the setting of the circus, and the hiding of Jews in the circus. Facts and WWII tidbits are hidden in the plot wonderfully. There's a nice forbidden romance mixed in there as well. Everything is wrapped up nicely in a epilogue as well-so no open doors at the end or wondering what happened. Maybe a little to perfect, but hey- its a "feel good" book.

Now let me say the circus is not my favorite theme (The Night Circus did it best, and the others haven't come close for me. I didn't love Water for Elephants). The repetitiveness of the trapeze pulled this down to 4 (or 4.5) stars for me. Yes, it's important we see the relevance and symbolic significance of the trapeze compared to the "freedom" of flying, and the reliance on others when having to be caught on the trapeze- but those themes were so forced. The audience can pick up on the subtleties of themes and symbolism, we don't need it spelled out for us.

message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 8280 comments I have this out from the library but also feel overloaded on WW2. Every other wonderful book I read. I too try to put some space between them.

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