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The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff

The Orphan's Tale

Historical Fiction   Family Drama   eBook Favourites   
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A heartbreaking tale echoing with intensity and hope, set during World War Two and based on real events. Seventeen year old Noa and the Jewish baby she managed to rescue from a train, flee through the snow from soldiers. Astrid’s German officer husband followed orders to divorce her as she is Jewish, and she attempts to return home to her family. A travelling German circus acts as a save haven for these two women, and they tell their own tales, on the edge of friendship, on the edge of survival. Pam Jenoff excells at telling stories set in this time period, she has an ability to make history feel so very real and almost touchable. Her characters come to life, Noa and Astrid, their thoughts, feelings, and their actions allow a glimpse into the past. The circus is a vibrant, complicated, hectic backdrop to this tale of friendship and survival. The writing is so intimate yet the harrowing stamp of Nazi occupied Europe a constant reminder, as it storms through the pages. ‘The Orphan’s Tale’ is a heart in mouth, emotional, and compelling read. ~ Liz Robinson

If you like Pam Jenoff you might also like to read books by Rita Bradshaw, Liz Trenow and Steven Carroll.


The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff

In Nazi-occupied Holland, seventeen-year-old Noa snatches a baby from a train bound for the concentration camps, fleeing with him into the snowy wilderness surrounding the train tracks. Passing through the woods is a German circus - a troupe of waifs and strays, led by the infamous Herr Neuroff. They agree to take in Noa and the baby, on one condition: to earn her keep, Noa must master the flying trapeze - under the tutorage of mysterious aerialist, Astrid. Soaring high above the crowds, Noa and Astrid must learn to trust one another...or plummet. But with the threat of war closing in, loyalty can become the most dangerous trait of all.


'Wonderfully compelling... The story grips from the very first page, and the atmosphere of the circus is entrancing - you feel all the terror and thrill of the flying trapeze.' - Margaret Leroy, author of The Soldier's Wife

About the Author

Pam Jenoff

Pam Jenoff was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England. Upon receiving her master's in history from Cambridge, she accepted an appointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army.

Following her work at the Pentagon, Jenoff moved to the State Department. In 1996 she was assigned to the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, Poland. It was during this period that Pam developed her expertise in Polish-Jewish relations and the Holocaust. Working on matters such as preservation of Auschwitz and the restitution of Jewish property in Poland, Jenoff developed close relations with the surviving Jewish community.

Jenoff remains involved in Polish-Jewish issues by writing articles and participating in a number of organizations. She has been honoured by the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, served on the board of directors of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern New Jersey, been appointed as a fellow to the Salzburg Seminar (Social and Economic Dimensions of Human Rights), advised the Auschwitz Jewish Centre and is a member of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America.

Having left the Foreign Service in 1998 to attend law school at the University of Pennsylvania, Jenoff is now employed as an attorney in Philadelphia, where she also does pro bono and civic work focusing on at-risk youth, hunger relief and homelessness. The Kommandant's Girl is her first novel.

Author photo © Dominic Episcopo

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Book Info

Publication date

23rd February 2017


Pam Jenoff

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HQ an imprint of Harlequin (UK)


368 pages


Historical Fiction
Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Historical fiction



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