I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I can already tell that this book is going to be one of my favourites of this entire year. Yup, I’m declaring it in February.
Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep. When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.
Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything. – Goodreads
The Orphan’s Tale is beautiful, emotional and so very heart wrenching. The friendship between Noa and Astrid is the main pillar of the story, but it also touches on their respective love lives, and their adoration for the child that Noa saved. Jenoff doesn’t sugar coat the brutal reality of Germany and France during the Second World War, and some scenes are not for the faint of heart. But that harshness is important – it brings into sharp relief how vital Noa and Astrid’s relationships are to their well being and ultimate survival.
I know some worry that historical books like this one can be hard to read, but Jenoff’s writing is really easy to absorb. And yes, the content is definitely heavy, but there is a hopeful tone to the end – so it doesn’t feel like a complete emotional drain. Just remember to have tissues on hand!
The Orphan’s Tale is coming out this month. Read it – you wont regret it.