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The Orphan Train by Pam Jenoff
They will be looking for me by now.
I hesitate, considering. I don’t care that his father is the mayor, not in the way that Astrid and the others do. If his father is a Nazi sympathizer, though, what does that make Luc? He seems too nice to possibly be that way himself.
Mischling by Affinity Konar
We were made, once. Pearl and me. Or to be percise, Pearl was formed and I split from her.
The fifth subject stood alone, his thumb hooked in his mouth. He could have been thirteen or thirty-five of sixty, he was so whittled, so beyond age. His nurse was leafing throughfiles with an air of boredom, as if there was nothing left to be done with him. Before her on a table were two folders, two sets of photographs, two sets of diagrams, two sets of x-rays. But there was only one boy.
I’ve just started The Orphan’s Tale but I like where it is heading. It is reminiscent of Water for Elephants and grabbed me immediately, with its opening line that takes you to an unwed mother during WWII.
Mischling is disturbing, how could a novel on Josef Mengele not be. It is eerie and elegently written. The novel is a little slow in its storytelling but the silence of his “examination rooms” speak volumes and keeps me reading onward.
The Orphan's Tale
Author Pam Jenoff
Publication Date February 21st 2017
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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.
Author Affinity Konar
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"One of the most harrowing, powerful, and imaginative books of the year" (Anthony Doerr) about twin sisters fighting to survive the evils of World War II.
Pearl is in charge of: the sad, the good, the past.
Stasha must care for: the funny, the future, the bad.
It's 1944 when the twin sisters arrive at Auschwitz with their mother and grandfather. In their benighted new world, Pearl and Stasha Zagorski take refuge in their identical natures, comforting themselves with the private language and shared games of their childhood.
As part of the experimental population of twins known as Mengele's Zoo, the girls experience privileges and horrors unknown to others, and they find themselves changed, stripped of the personalities they once shared, their identities altered by the burdens of guilt and pain.
That winter, at a concert orchestrated by Mengele, Pearl disappears. Stasha grieves for her twin, but clings to the possibility that Pearl remains alive. When the camp is liberated by the Red Army, she and her companion Feliks--a boy bent on vengeance for his own lost twin--travel through Poland's devastation. Undeterred by injury, starvation, or the chaos around them, motivated by equal parts danger and hope, they encounter hostile villagers, Jewish resistance fighters, and fellow refugees, their quest enabled by the notion that Mengele may be captured and brought to justice within the ruins of the Warsaw Zoo. As the young survivors discover what has become of the world, they must try to imagine a future within it.
A superbly crafted story, told in a voice as exquisite as it is boundlessly original, Mischling defies every expectation, traversing one of the darkest moments in human history to show us the way toward ethereal beauty, moral reckoning, and soaring hope.