Time Travel Thursday

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Our Gem is delicate, pale pink and blue striated with veins off a sickening dark greenish yellow. Like some pervasive illness that attacks everything in it’s path. But look closer and you will notice the light brightens the pink and blue and causes the poisonous color to fade. It gives one Hope. This is Gem Maker Ellen Marie Wiseman’s “The Orphan Collector”.

Before I talk about this Tale, I want to talk about the cover. I rarely do this, I know, but this cover speaks volumes. The colors are perfect..Ashes of Roses pink they called it when I was a Nestling so many years ago. Roses are often used to cover the smell of decay. The painting of the girl with her head in her hands is heart wrenching to anyone who loves Nestlings. This could be any Nestling, lost, alone, in despair. It is Powerful indeed. “You must read me”, it commands and I agree.

Ms. Wiseman has given us a great and timely gift in the story of thirteen year old Pia Lange. She is a German Immigrant at a most unfortunate time, the First World War. Mankind called it “The War to end All Wars”. Pia’s father is fighting in the Army of his new Homeland. Her mother and twin infant brothers and Pia are fighting too, on the home front. As German Immigrants they are suspected at every turn because the enemy is Germany.

They have signed loyalty oaths, no longer speak German, Pia is made fun of at school. She is a sensitive girl who cannot stand to be touched, shy to the point of pain. Her mother has lost her job because the factories don’t want German workers. On top of all this comes an invisible enemy. The Spanish Flu. It will steal an already incredibly altered life from an already overwhelmed Pia.

The villain in this story is a woman who has lost her own child to Spanish Flu. In her grief she decides to take immigrant orphans and make them “True Americans”. She is a person to be pitied at first. In this Flu there are all kinds of victims. She will be the next to alter life for Pia in such a cruel way that I had to stop reading along the way to catch my breath.

I read this book in twelve hours. I could not put it down. Ms. Wiseman’s style is eloquent but not stuffy, powerful but not preachy and her gift to us is a tale that is timely and once read will not soon be forgotten.

If someone doesn’t make this into a film they have lost a tremendous opportunity. It begs to be on screen. But they need to follow the book, because otherwise there is absolutely no point, it is just another waste of time and film.

This book is timely, not only because of the Spanish Flu, but because of the missing children. We have 18,500+ Nestlings missing here in the State of Ohio where my Cave is located up in these Appalachian Hills.

Every day parents and siblings go to bed not knowing where their Nestlings and brothers or sisters are. Every single day. I don’t know about you, but as a parent of my own Nestling, I believe that is a tragedy.

If you want to treat yourself to a well researched, well written, excellently turned out novel, then “The Orphan Collector” is for you. The holidays will be here before you know it. This would be an excellent book to share as well.

Until tomorrow, I remain, your humble Book Dragon,

Drakon T. Longwitten

I received a copy of this book from #KensingtonBooks after I won it from Bookish First. My opinions are my own.