to @ellenmariewiseman on the release of THE ORPHAN COLLECTOR!
Genre: Historical Fiction
Set during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, 13 year old German immigrant Pia must care for her twin baby brothers after her mom dies mere hours after showing flu symptoms. Meanwhile, neighbor Bernice is overcome with grief and anger after the loss of her baby son, Wallis, and makes a couple of rash, disturbing decisions that forever alter the lives of herself, Pia, and countless others.
“When the flu first broke out, it was a horrible, terrifying time. It felt like the world was coming to an end.”
Well, wow. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, we can all relate to that quote; am I right? It felt almost surreal reading this book as the parallels to the current pandemic are astounding: racism, anti-maskers, gathering areas closed, misinformation, etc. Just like real life, this book provided a look at both the evil and the good that exists in human nature. Parts made me tear up but overall, it’s a timely and endearing story of love, hope, and resilience during hard times. Lastly, for even more information about the Spanish Flu, be sure to read the discussion questions at the end.
If you enjoyed this book, then I would highly recommend What She Left Behind by the same author about the horrific conditions at asylums in the 1930s. If you’re looking for another book about the Spanish Flu, then I would highly recommend As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner.
Location: 1918 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I received an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own.