Orphan #8

Orphan #8

by Kim van Alkemade


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062338303
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/04/2015
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 162,324
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Kim van Alkemade was born in New York. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in literary journals including Alaska Quarterly Review, So to Speak, and CutBank. She teaches writing at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.

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Orphan #8 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. Fascinating storyline and very thought provoking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The description of the book intrigued me. I was further drawn in to find out that it is based on true events which is horrifying but I wanted to know more. I enjoyed most of this book but the ending was a drop-off. There is more you want to know but it just abruptly ends. With that being said, I would still recomend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book very quickly. The story was rivetting. A reader must be prepared for a story to be told in and out of time in snatches. Lesbianism is a string throughout the telling. It was handled with grace, authenticity, and great insight encouraging thoughtfulness in the reader. The story is so much more but a potential reader must be aware of this subtheme. Overall the book is so wellwritten and thoughtful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
However very disappointed in the ending. There was a lot going on in the story and it just ended. Also it's very hard to read of the medical experiments practiced at the orphanage and how the children were treated.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didnt care for ending
silvermoe More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book however the ending was not good. I expect to be fulfilled as to the story line when I finish a book. Didn't happen with this one. Unless there is a sequel I want closure and the story finished. Makes me want to not read anything else from this author for fear all her books have a poor ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unlike many books that I have read recently, this book captured my interest from the very first chapter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. The history and story kept me captivated. Then is eneded... no closure, you arw left asking many questions. It just ends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much and couldn't put it down. Can't wait to read the author's next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would have never guessed that this wad the first fictional work the author had written. It serves as a very informative & interesting view of life for the many immigrants of the 1920's & later. Following the life of a brother & sister who grew up in a Jewish Orphanage you get pulled into the many facets of life not only during that time period but for the Jewish people as a whole. Well written, this book reads so easily as you delve into the life of these 2 children as they face battles that you may have never thought as a part of life during the time period. A brilliant historical fiction piece that touches your heart & fills your mind with realistic moments of life. Definitely a great reads on a cold winter day or for a summer day relaxing on the beach poor poolside. I'll be reading her other novels for sure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. I love that it was based on actual people and places. Held my interest the entire book, first page to last.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent writing, kept me attached to the characters from the first page to the last, amazing story, very well written.
snickeysmom More than 1 year ago
Truly intriguing and interesting theme. Very carefully laid out in an educated, well-written, believable story. Highly recommend this book for teens and adults.
Spinswool More than 1 year ago
Excellent story. I could not stop reading it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow, couldnt put it down. Great read that makes you think about the human animal and how we have historically treated others.
SarrieJ More than 1 year ago
I so loved this book that within a day and a half I had finished it. I just could not put it down! Excellent storyline followed up by photos that inspired this story. Love it!
LucyVan More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. While it was very hard to read about the pain and suffering this young woman endured at the hands of some very unethical physicians, it remains an inspiring story. Her courage, determination and, in the end, her ability to forgive was very moving. I read this very fast and enjoyed every minute of it. I do wish the author had written one more chapter, however, as the ending just seems to drop you off and leave you wondering what happened to the two main characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written and researched, very insightful--- a pleasure to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very thoughtful boo?.Makes some political statements. Thought provoking
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had Ms. Van Alkemade as a professor in college. She was one of my favorite professors so I had to read the book which I thought was outstanding.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Rachel becomes an orphan in a very tragic way early in the book and from there the book swapped between chapters from her childhood and going forward to adulthood with chapters within her adulthood. I loved how this author formatted the book and although sometimes the flow was hard, each chapter felt like a short story within a bigger story. Rachel was a great character, in that although she had a very hard childhood she didn't use it as an excuse to be a deadbeat adult, but instead she found a fire in herself and wanted to find her own true passion to get her out from under anyone. I loved seeing her childhood and its impacts immediately in the adulthood chapters. This book almost felt like a dual narrative but with Rachel narrating both her past and her present - I loved the intermix of the stories.