We are so excited to be a part of a 2-part tour for the release of best selling author Pam Jenoff’s new historical fiction title, The Orphan’s Tale!
Follow along the excerpt tour beginning in February, with long excerpts in consecutive order at each tour stop, followed by a review tour beginning on 2/21, release day!
About The Orphan’s Tale
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: MIRA (February 21, 2017)
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.
“I read this novel in a headlong rush, transported by the relationship between two vastly different women during World War II: a Jewish circus aerialist and a teenage runaway with a baby. Deftly juggling secrets, lies, treachery, and passion, Pam Jenoff vividly brings to life the agonizing choices and life-or-death consequences for a hardy band of travelers under Nazi occupation.”—Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
“Readers who enjoyed Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants will embrace this novel.”—Library Journal
“In prose that is beautiful, ethereal, and poignant, The Orphan’s Tale is a novel you won’t be able to put down.”—Bustle
“A gripping story about the power of friendship to save and redeem even in the darkest of circumstances, The Orphan’s Tale sheds light on one of the most colorful and inspiring stories of heroism in Nazi Germany. This is a book not to be missed.”—Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife
“Jenoff expertly performs a pirouetting tale worthy of a standing ovation. A circus of hidden Jews, a powerful friendship, The Orphan’s Tale proves that the human spirit defies hate, fear, and gravity with a triumphant ta-da!”—Sarah McCoy, New York Times bestselling author of The Mapmaker’s Children
“Ingrid!” Herr Neuhoff booms as he enters the sitting room. If he is surprised to see me, he gives no indication. Herr Neuhoff is not as old as my father and in my childhood memories, he had been dashing and handsome, if portly, with dark hair and a mustache. But he is shorter than I remembered, with a full stomach and just a gray fringe of hair. I rise and start toward him. Then, seeing the small swastika pin on his lapel, I stop. Coming here had been a mistake. “For appearances,” he says hastily.
“Yes, of course.” But I am not sure whether to believe him. I should just go. His face appears genuinely glad to see me, though. I decide to take a chance.
He gestures to a chair overlaid with lace and I sit, perching uneasily. “Cognac?” he offers.
I falter. “That would be lovely.” He rings a bell and the same woman who answered the door brings in a tray—one house servant where there used to be many. The Circus Neuhoff has not been left untouched by the war. I feign a sip from the glass she offers me. I do not want to be rude, but I need to keep my head about me to figure out where I am going from here. There is no resting place for me in Darmstadt anymore.
“You’ve just come from Berlin?” His tone is polite, one step short of asking what I am doing here.
“Yes. Papa wrote that he disbanded the circus.” Herr Neuhoff’s brow creases with his unspoken question: the circus broke up months ago. Why have I come now? “More recently I lost contact and my letters came back unanswered,” I add. “Have you heard from them?”
“I’m afraid nothing,” he replies. “There were only a few of them left at the end, all of the workers had gone.” Because it was illegal to work for the Jews. My father had treated his performers and even the manual laborers like family, caring for them when they were sick, inviting them to family celebrations, such as my brothers’ bar mitzvahs. He’d given generously to the town, too, doing charity shows for the hospital and donating to the political officials to curry favor. Trying so very hard to make us one of them. We had nearly forgotten that we weren’t.
Herr Neuhoff continues, “I went looking for them you know, after. But the house was empty. They were gone, though whether they went on their own or something had happened, I couldn’t say.” He walks to the mahogany desk in the corner and opens a drawer. “I do have this.” He reveals a Kiddush cup and I rise, fighting the urge to cry out at the familiar Hebrew letters. “This was yours, no?”
I nod, taking it from him. How had he gotten it? There had been a menorah, as well, and other things. The Germans must have taken those. I run my finger along the edge of the cup. On the road my family would have gathered in our railcar just to light the candles and share a bit of whatever wine and bread could be found, a few minutes of just us. I see shoulders pressed close to fit around the tiny table, my brothers’ faces illuminated by candlelight. We were not so very religious—we had to perform on Saturdays and had not managed to keep kosher on the road. But we clung fast to the little things, a moment’s observance each week. No matter how happy I had been with Erich, some part of my heart always drifted from the gay Berlin cafés back to the quiet Sabbaths.
I sink down once more. “I should never have left.”
“The Germans still would have put your father out of business,” he points out. If I had been here, though, perhaps the Germans would not have forced my family from their home or arrested them, or done whatever had caused them to not be here any longer. My connection to Erich, which I had held up like such a shield, had in the end proved worthless.
Herr Neuhoff coughs once, then again, his face reddening. I wonder if he is ill.
“I’m sorry I can’t be of more help,” he says when he has recovered. “You’ll go back to Berlin now?”
I shift awkwardly. “I’m afraid not.”
About Pam Jenoff
Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels, including the international bestseller The Kommandant’s Girl, which also earned her a Quill Award nomination. Pam lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.
Connect with Pam
THE ORPHAN’S TALE Excerpt Tour:
Monday, February 6th: The Sassy Bookster
Tuesday, February 7th: Just Commonly
Wednesday, February 8th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, February 9th: Chick Lit Central
Friday, February 10th: Bibliotica
Monday February 13th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tuesday, February 14th: Read Love Blog
Wednesday, February 15th: The Lit Bitch
Thursday, February 16th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Friday, February 17th: Books a la Mode
THE ORPHAN’S TALE Review Tour:
Monday, February 20th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, February 20th: Barbara Khan
Tuesday, February 21st: Savvy Verse and Wit
Wednesday, February 22nd: Caryn, The Book Whisperer
Thursday, February 23rd: West Metro Mommy
Friday, February 24th: Reading is My SuperPower
Friday, February 24th: A Bookish Affair
Monday, February 27th: Building Bookshelves
Monday, February 27th: Just Commonly
Tuesday, February 28th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, March 1st: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, March 1st: Susan Peterson
Thursday, March 2nd: A Literary Vacation
Friday, March 3rd: Cindy Burnett
Monday, March 6th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Monday, March 6th: Literary Quicksand
Tuesday, March 7th: The Lit Bitch
Wednesday, March 8th: The Romance Dish
Thursday, March 9th: Just One More Chapter
Friday, March 10th: Suzy Approved
Monday, March 13th: Reading Reality
Monday, March 13th: Diary of an Eccentric
Tuesday, March 14th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, March 15th: Bibliophiliac
Thursday, March 16th: The Maiden’s Court
Friday, March 17th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, March 20th: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, March 21st: Write Read Life
Wednesday, March 22nd: 100 Pages a Day
Thursday, March 23rd: Silver’s Reviews
Friday, March 24th: Not in Jersey
Friday March 24th: SJ2B House of Books
Tuesday, March 28th: Travelling Birdy