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The Orphan's Tale

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


Look out for Pam’s new book, The Lost Girls of Paris, a story of friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female spies during World War II.

A New York Times bestseller!

“Readers who enjoyed Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants will embrace this novel. “ —Library Journal

“Secrets, lies, treachery, and passion…. I read this novel in a headlong rush.” —Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan’s Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival

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.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 05, 2016 – Bestselling author Jenoff (The Kommandant's Girl) depicts two disparate women thrown together by destiny, each hiding a secret from the Nazi regime. Noa's Dutch family kicks her out of the house after an affair with a Nazi soldier leaves her pregnant. She gives up the child, but in her new life as a train-station washerwoman, she finds a boxcar full of Jewish infants. She rescues one and flees, nearly freezing to death in a distant forest where she is rescued by a member of the famous German Circus Neuhoff; Noa claims the baby is her brother. Astrid Sorrell (born Ingrid Klemt) is forced to separate from her German officer husband when the Reich forces all Jewish intermarriages to be dissolved. A former star in her now-depleted Jewish family's circus, she, too, finds refuge with the rival Circus Neuhoff, where her Jewish identity will be hidden, and now her boss forces her to teach the pretty Noa the art of the trapeze. Will Noa be able to perform and keep her baby safe? Will anyone discover Astrid's true identity? Despite their different backgrounds, they find comfort and trust in each other's friendship. Against the backdrop of circus life during the war, the author captures the very real terrors faced by both women as they navigate their working and personal relationships and their complicated love lives while striving for normalcy and keeping their secrets safe.

Customer Reviews

Secrets can tear failies and bonds apart – but rather emblematic of the time, the secrets held by th

Noa is a seventeen year old Dutch girl in the midst of occupation. But when she begins to show signs of her pregnancy by a German soldier, her parents force her out of the house, unwilling to bear her shame. Giving the child up for adoption, and needing to find shelter and support, Noa takes a job as a cleaner at a train station.

One night, she investigates a car on a train – and finds it laden with infants some barely surviving. The Germans are transporting the children further up the line to a concentration camp. But, Noa, stil mourning the loss of her own child steals a baby and heads off into the unknown.

One choice can change your life, and Noa’s choices have changed her inexorably. Leaving in the cold and snow with the stolen infant could have been the end of Noa’s story, but she is found by a traveling circus performer and brought to safety. With an odd collection of misfit performers, Noa must learn to perform on the trapeze if she is to remain safe within the circus, and to do that she must earn the help of Ingrid under the tutelage of Astrid. For Ingrid is also hiding in plain sight as a Jew in the circus,

What emerges is a tense and often harrowing read, beset on by German Soldiers, shortages of food, weather difficulties and a general watchfulness and mistrust from locals, this band of performers have formed bonds that will be tested repeatedly. The circus and the many personalities that make the show work become their own character in the story, dangers of performing never underplayed while the stress of the ever-mobile life weighs on everyone involved. With a support system that she has made through luck and much hard work, the growth of the relationship between Noa and Ingrid is clear and from tentative allies the two soon are friends, then almost sisterly in their concern and care for one another. Secrets can tear failies and bonds apart – but rather emblematic of the time, the secrets held by the players in this story are what bonds them together. A wonderful read that will demand careful consideration as the descriptions are vivid, the emotions viscerally present, and the tension palpable from the start.

I received an eArc copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


A captivating story with many surprises. It kept my interest all the way through. I loved the stories of both Astrid and Noa.
This is the first Jenoff book I have read, but it won’t be the last.

The Orphan’s Tale

Quite the roller coaster ride. When it ended the coaster crashed and burned. Great writer, but I am now afraid of her “rides.”

The Orphan's Tale
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Feb 21, 2017
  • Publisher: MIRA Books
  • Seller: Harlequin Digital Sales Corporation
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings