This post contains affiliate links.  The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff is loosely based on a true story the author discovered while doing research. The story, set in Europe during World War II, tells the tale of two women–Noa and Astrid.

The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff

About The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

Noa is a 16 year old girl who was kicked out of her home when her father discovered she was pregnant–by a German soldier no less. Astrid is a middle-aged Jewish woman who was also kicked out–by her Nazi officer husband when the Nazi’s were no longer allowed to remain married to their Jewish spouses.

Astrid, who was born into a circus family, returns to her family of origin only to find her family gone. She meets with her neighbor, Herr Neuhoff, who also runs a circus.  Astrid ends up joining his circus, and there, she meets Noa.  Throughout the book, Noa and Astrid remain frenemies–both women need one another, but they’ve been too hurt to completely trust one another.  They share moments of closeness only to then rebuff one another.  However, their lives are deeply intertwined with one another and remain so for the rest of their lives.

My Thoughts about the Book

Even though I’ve read many Holocaust books, I didn’t know that some circuses hid Jewish performers–hiding them in plain sight. I liked learning about this and also reading what life was like in the circus.

However, the ending came together a little too perfectly, and the last 15 pages felt a bit melodramatic, which is why I didn’t give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Still, it was a good read.

I give The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff 4 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.

Read More

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel,

Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson,

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


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