Vivid And Beautiful Story of Perseverance

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A beautifully written story of perseverance and resilience, The Orphan Collector is a story that will stay in the hearts and minds of readers long after the story ends.

In 1918 Philadelphia, Pia Lange, a 13-year-old German immigrant finds herself surrounded by anti-German sentiment. Adding to a tense situation, the Spanish Influenza has broken out in the crowded city. Pia finds herself losing her mother and left to care for her four-month-old twin brothers while she waits for her father to return from the war. When she runs out of food, Pia makes the difficult decision to leave the babies alone in the apartment while she ventures out for supplies.

Bernice Groves, having recently lost her son and husband, sees Pia leave the apartment unaccompanied. Knowing the family situation, Bernice puts it upon herself to check on the family’s situation. What she does next, sets her down a path to transform orphaned and immigrant children into her version of “true Americans.”

Ellen Marie Wiseman has written an emotionally charged and intense story with The Orphan Collector. Each of the well-developed characters has a such a unique personality, the reader can’t help but be drawn in experiencing all the emotions as Pia feels them. The suspense keeps the story moving, keeping the reader wanting more.

The writing was so vivid the reader can feel Pia’s pain and guilt. Bernice and her anti-immigrant attitudes were a painful reminder that we still have so far to go as a society, that we may not have come as far as we’d like to think.

A timely and relevant story about an epidemic, poverty and prejudice, The Orphan Collector is a must read.