Kim van Alkemade
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In this stunning new historical novel inspired by true events, Kim van Alkemade tells the fascinating story of a woman who must choose between revenge and mercy when she encounters the doctor who subjected her to dangerous medical experiments in a New York City Jewish orphanage years before.
In 1919, Rachel Rabinowitz is a vivacious four-year-old living with her family in a crowded tenement on New York City’s Lower Eastside. When tragedy strikes, Rachel is separated from her brother Sam and sent to a Jewish orphanage where Dr. Mildred Solomon is conducting medical research. Subjected to X-ray treatments that leave her disfigured, Rachel suffers years of cruel harassment from the other orphans. But when she turns fifteen, she runs away to Colorado hoping to find the brother she lost and discovers a family she never knew she had.
Though Rachel believes she’s shut out her painful childhood memories, years later she is confronted with her dark past when she becomes a nurse at Manhattan’s Old Hebrews Home and her patient is none other than the elderly, cancer-stricken Dr. Solomon. Rachel becomes obsessed with making Dr. Solomon acknowledge, and pay for, her wrongdoing. But each passing hour Rachel spends with the old doctor reveal to Rachel the complexities of her own nature. She realizes that a person’s fate—to be one who inflicts harm or one who heals—is not always set in stone.
Lush in historical detail, rich in atmosphere and based on true events, Orphan #8 is a powerful, affecting novel of the unexpected choices we are compelled to make that can shape our destinies.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, a very talented author! It bought me to tears many times knowing the stories were actually true. I would highly recommend this read.
Great Read about history I did not know!
Excellent book about how Jewish orphans were housed and raised in New York. A noble endeavor by the large community even with its dark overtones of some treatment. Much of it taken from the writers own family history although you done find that out until reading her history at the end. Fascinating and excellent first novel. I couldn't put it down
Detailed page-turner you can't put down
What a beautiful and haunting story. Full of strength, love, conflict, suspense, and historical artifacts woven together by genuine talent. Highly recommend for any lover
of historical fiction, coming-of-age tales or beautiful imagery and the struggle and triumph of the authentic human experience.