The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff (2 Stars)

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.

This is one of those books that received such high praise, yet it just didn’t make the cut for me.  It started out well, and I must tell you the beginning had an absolutely horrifying scene in it that kept me up at night (which I won’t divulge in order not to spoil it).  However, the rest of the book just didn’t deliver.  Not that I was looking for horrifying scenes, but I was looking for character development to explain what made these women strong.  However, this book lacked that as well as any intrigue in the storyline.

The treatment of the main characters, Astrid and Noa, was superficial.  They never really liked each other, then suddenly they feel great love and affection for each other.  It was just implausible.  Noa is caring for a baby which she professes to love, but a lot of her actions don’t seem to fit with that love.  Her love interest with Luc was just so silly, I couldn’t take it seriously.

The book also spends so much time on Noa’s learning the trapeze/aerialist act.  While I understand the book is about how the circus was able to shelter Jews, there was too much time spent on the mechanics of her learning.  I expected more background and development of the supporting characters beyond the few lines that each had.

Unfortunately, the book was a disappointment on many levels.

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