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Orphan #8: A Novel
by Kim van Alkemade

Published: 2015-08-04
Paperback : 416 pages
6 members reading this now
23 clubs reading this now
10 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 7 of 8 members

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

In this stunning new historical novel inspired by true events, Kim van Alkemade tells the fascinating story of a woman who must choose between revenge and mercy when she encounters the doctor who subjected her to dangerous medical experiments in a ...

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Introduction

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

In this stunning new historical novel inspired by true events, Kim van Alkemade tells the fascinating story of a woman who must choose between revenge and mercy when she encounters the doctor who subjected her to dangerous medical experiments in a New York City Jewish orphanage years before.

In 1919, Rachel Rabinowitz is a vivacious four-year-old living with her family in a crowded tenement on New York City’s Lower Eastside. When tragedy strikes, Rachel is separated from her brother Sam and sent to a Jewish orphanage where Dr. Mildred Solomon is conducting medical research. Subjected to X-ray treatments that leave her disfigured, Rachel suffers years of cruel harassment from the other orphans. But when she turns fifteen, she runs away to Colorado hoping to find the brother she lost and discovers a family she never knew she had.

Though Rachel believes she’s shut out her painful childhood memories, years later she is confronted with her dark past when she becomes a nurse at Manhattan’s Old Hebrews Home and her patient is none other than the elderly, cancer-stricken Dr. Solomon. Rachel becomes obsessed with making Dr. Solomon acknowledge, and pay for, her wrongdoing. But each passing hour Rachel spends with the old doctor reveal to Rachel the complexities of her own nature. She realizes that a person’s fate—to be one who inflicts harm or one who heals—is not always set in stone.

Lush in historical detail, rich in atmosphere and based on true events, Orphan #8 is a powerful, affecting novel of the unexpected choices we are compelled to make that can shape our destinies.

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by mopsickmom (see profile) 11/17/18

 
  "Sad peek into history of orphan care."by Time_2_Read (see profile) 10/23/16

The story is told in alternating time periods, which really worked well for me! We follow Rachel and Sam as they experience many of the historical events of the first half of the twentieth c... (read more)

 
by NoraQuinnWallace (see profile) 08/11/16

 
by janetwb (see profile) 02/29/16

 
by Christie Lambert (see profile) 02/16/16

 
  "Orphan #8"by jsmith10 (see profile) 10/24/15

Historical part was fascinating and disturbing that these things actually went on. The fictional part seemed a little forced.

 
  "ORPHAN #8 by Kim Van Alkemade"by mistyviolet (see profile) 10/12/15

When the book opens Rachel (orphan 8) is a tantrum throwing 4 year-old. At the end she is a middle- aged spinster disappointed with life. Rachel has the misfortune soon after her mother’... (read more)

 
by SUPERMOM2 (see profile) 09/22/15

 
  "The book is largely about Rachel as she goes from childood to middle age in search of love."by thewanderingjew (see profile) 09/04/15

Orphan Number Eight, Kim van Alkemade, author, Andi Arndt, narrator
Although the story begins in a tenement apartment in which a gentle, loving mother and wife, Visha, i
... (read more)

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