Book Review: The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

“But we represent everything Hitler hates: the freaks and oddities in a regime that is all about conformity. They will not permit us to go on forever.”

Pam Jenoff, The Orphan’s Tale

Title: The Orphan’s Tale
Author: Pam Jenoff
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 369 (Kindle)
Published: February 21st, 2017

My Rating: ★★★¾
Read: 6/5/2023 – 6/18/2023


This book started out really strong for me. It begins with action and intrigue, but I found that it fizzled out until later in the book. 

After saving a baby boy from a Nazi boxcar, Noa finds herself seeking refuge in a circus. She trains to be an acrobat under Astrid’s instruction. Eventually, Not discovers that Astrid is a German Jew in hiding. Knowing this, she feels she has an ally in protecting the baby with the ultimate goal of getting them all out of occupied territory. 

The first couple of chapters in Noa’s POV had me completely enthralled. It took me a long time to get into Astrid’s part of the story. She eventually grew on me though it wasn’t until near the end that I felt the same interest I had in Noa at the start. As for Noa, I lost interest as soon as a love interest came into play. 

There is a lot going on in this book. Noa’s personal story and how she came to save a Jewish child could be a standalone story as could Astrid’s life in the virus and her need to escape. The two stories complimented each other only because of the baby. Being so young, he was a presence more than anything else. Despite the busyness, I did enjoy the friendship between the two women. 

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • The plot with Noa saving Theo.
  • Astrid after some time.
  • I enjoyed the ending.

What I didn’t like:

  • Way too many different plots forced into one book.
  • Noa was irksome at times.
  • The romance didn’t feel necessary.


This was a buddy read with Ashleigh and Sam!

Where to buy the book:

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