In Great Thoughts’ Valentines’ Series, today Pam Jenoff joins us with a Valentine to her readers. Pam’s book, The Orphan’s Tale, comes out on February 21st. This book is also the Great Thought’s Book of the Month for February.
About The Book
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.
Here is Pam Jenoff:
I love you.
I love you because you read (and not just my books, though that doesn’t hurt!) I love that you read, whatever you read (fiction, memoir, short story), however you read (physical book or e-book) and wherever you read (bookstore or library or on the moon.) Books put us in the shoes of others and I think we are all nicer, more empathetic people for it.
I love you because you talk about books. You talk about them in your book clubs, at home with your spouse and kids, and at work. And more now than ever, you talk about them online. I am so grateful Great Thoughts, Great Reads and the other groups and sites where we talk about what we are reading and whether we like the books. I scribble down your Friday Reads religiously and I read more now than ever because of your energy and your reccommendations, and this makes me a better writer.
I love you because you hold me accountable. You let me know when I haven’t gotten it quite right – and when I’ve gotten it wrong. Knowing you are out there, waiting to read and holding me accountable for what I write, makes me more careful and more disciplined. Discerning readers raise the bar for writers.
Finally, I love you because you talk to me. Writing is a solitary, lonely business. It is a huge leap of faith to toil in obscurity for months or years on a project and hope that at the end someone will want to read it. Those messages, on Facebook or Twitter or Goodreads or email, letting me know that you’ve liked a book, or asking when the next book comes out, or posing a question or even just saying hi, are what keep me going. There is nothing like waking up bleary-eyed to write at five a.m. on a Sunday morning, wondering what I’m doing it all for, and seeing a message from one of you. Often that’s what keeps me from hitting the snooze button and gets my feet on the floor. I’ve long said that the great thing about the internet age is for readers and writers to develop sustained, on-going friendships across the miles and the years. This is only possible because you care enough about books to take the time to reach out to authors. I, for one, am so, so grateful!
Happy Valentine’s Day with all my love,
What are you reading and where are you going?