his book was on my Holds list from the library for months and months, and I had totally forgotten what it was about when I finally got it! Because I read so much WW2 fiction my expectations are high, and especially after reading Water For Elephants and Fires in the Dark, both amazing, a novel with a circus, travelers, and set in WW2 was going to have to be brilliant.
Sadly The Orphan's Tale didn’t do it for me. First of all there were absolutely no Roma characters which made no sense. This was a great opportunity to introduce an ethnic group of people who were persecuted and murdered during the Holocaust, especially as there isn’t much fiction available on the subject. Secondly, the storyline felt stilted, contrived, on the simple side really. I felt like I already knew exactly what was going to happen before I had read even a quarter of the book (and for the most part I was right). And some of the scenes are just ridiculous, especially those between Noa and the lad she meets in the French town, Luc. Then, thirdly, I couldn’t sympathize with any of the characters, apart from maybe the circus owner. I feel like the author was trying to create dramatic characters with human feelings, but they all fall short. I kept skipping over sentences with my eyes to get ahead because I didn’t want to hear yet again how mean Astrid was to Noa, or how Noa had a terrible secret she was hiding bla-bla-bla.
I did read the novel all the way through, and the story itself is interesting, especially as it is loosely based on people who really existed. I just feel like the execution itself was too easy, and something was really lacking for me. It did however open my eyes to a part of WW2 and the Holocaust that I wasn’t aware of before: how circuses continued to tour and also managed to shelter and save Jewish people from the Gestapo.
It’s not a bad read per se, I just expected a lot more personally. 2 stars.