The Orphan Keeper

The Orphan Keeper

by Camron Wright


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The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright

Based on a remarkable true story
Seven-year-old Chellamuthu’s life—and his destiny—is forever changed when he is kidnapped from his village in Southern India and sold to the Lincoln Home for Homeless Children. His family is desperate to find him, and Chellamuthu anxiously tells the Indian orphanage that he is not an orphan, he has a mother who loves him. But he is told not to worry, he will soon be adopted by a loving family in America.

Chellamuthu is suddenly surrounded by a foreign land and a foreign language. He can’t tell people that he already has a family and becomes consumed by a single, impossible question: How do I get home? But after more than a decade, home becomes a much more complicated idea as the Indian boy eventually sheds his past and receives a new name: Taj Khyber Rowland.

It isn’t until Taj meets an Indian family who helps him rediscover his roots, as well as marrying Priya, his wife, who helps him unveil the secrets of his past, that he begins to discover the truth he has all but forgotten. Taj is determined to return to India and begin the quest to find his birth family. But is it too late? Is it possible that his birth mother is still looking for him? And which family does he belong to now?

From the best-selling author of The Rent Collector, this is a deeply moving and gripping journey about discovering one’s self and the unbreakable family bonds that connect us forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629723327
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 58,035
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Camron Wright holds a master's degree in writing and public relations. He says he began writing to get out of attending MBA school, and it proved the better decision. His first book, Letters for Emily, was a Reader's Choice award winner, as well as a selection of the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild. Camron is also the author of The Rent Collector.

Read an Excerpt

"Why have you kept your story a secret, Taj?" the interviewer asks me.

A simple question. A difficult answer. I am a grown man, but I still hesitate.

He prods. "Are you ready to tell your story because it may inspire others?"

"No!" It's an answer that spills out before I can stop it. I take a breath. How do I explain? "You're both writers," I say. "You take ideas and words and confusing bits of life and weave them together into a captivating story-one that you hope not only entertains, but somehow makes sense of the world. Is that right?"

The man holding his laptop closes the lid. His friend sets down his notepad and pen. A glance crosses between them.

"Well, isn't it?" I ask again, my tone more edgy than I intend.

"That's the goal," the writer by the camera admits.

I lean closer.

"This will appear selfish and I don't mean to sound that way." I lick my lips and lower my chin. "I'm ready to tell my story not just because it may help others-which I hope it will-but because it's time I try to make sense of my past. I hope that by finally talking about all of this, by pulling it out and casting a little light on it … my desire is to somehow … well, I guess I want to …"

"What is it?"

"I'm hoping to forgive God."

Customer Reviews

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The Orphan Keeper 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heart-wrenching at times for any parent to read, both from the perspective of Taj’s biological family as well as his adoptive one. It strengthens my faith in divine guidance and direction for the eventual greater good and blessing of others and that not all coincidences are just coincidences. Out of pain and despair can come great joy and blessings. Plan to lose some sleep, not because of the storyline, but because you won’t be able to put this book down until you’ve finished it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't miss this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author told the fascinating story of the true and miraculous reunion of a man with his family after he was kidnapped as a boy and separated for more than ten years.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Wonderful story please read
LWReyes More than 1 year ago
From the very first page, I could not put this book down. The story of Taj (Chellamuthu) and how he was taken from India as a child and adopted in the U.S. is both heartbreaking and inspiring. I was moved to tears more than once, and by the end I was convinced that nothing about his experience was coincidental. Everyone should read this story. It will make you appreciate the blessings and the people in your life all the more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could hardly put this book down. One of the best stories of loss, disappointment, fear, courage, love and so much more. A story of life and and the struggle to live with what we are given by God and belief in our souls. A must read for anyone struggling with thier hearts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worth the read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought provoking
Normalguy More than 1 year ago
PlsPassTheBooks More than 1 year ago
The Orphan Keeper is a wonderful story about a young boy who is sold as an orphan, and then adopted into a well meaning and devoted family. The plot thickens quickly, as little Chellamuthu/Taj isn't actually an orphan, and has a biological family that he's torn away from. Camron Wright has written, really, two books here—the first half about Taj as a child, the second as an adult, in search of his "real" family. It's the latter half of The Orphan Keeper that was the most engaging, as the voice becomes stronger and the storyline gains momentum. I think the construction could have been organized a bit better, but overall, this is a tightly written, heartwarming (and breaking!) book that I had a great deal of pleasure reading. I'd like to thank Net Galley and the publisher, Shadow Mountain, for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, which this certainly is.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
Based on a true story, The Orphan Keeper tells the remarkable tale of a young boy who is stolen from his family in a small village in Indian, sold to a Christian orphanage, and adopted by a family in America. Chellamuthu, later renamed Taj, tried to communicate to anyone who would listen that he wasn’t an orphan. He had a family. But no one wanted to hear it except his adopted parents, but they also were met with zero assistance from anyone back in India, so they were forced to give up hope. Taj’s life wasn’t all bad though. He was always fed and well loved by his adoptive parents. The first half of the book recounts Taj’s young life, and then it skips ahead to his graduation from high school and beyond. When he’s studying abroad in London and living with an Indian family, his quest to find his birth family is re-ignited. What’s interesting is that while the reader has heard the beginning of the story, Taj doesn’t remember everything that happened to him. So later in life, it’s a bit trickier to track down his village and his family because he has repressed those memories. I really enjoyed the second half of the book. The whole book was very interesting, but the details of the adventure to uncover his roots was much more compelling to read about than the horrors of Taj’s childhood. The book is written well, and though long, it’s an easy read. Unlike a memoir, I appreciated the cohesive story of this fictionalized account. There are reading group questions at the end of the book, and this would make an excellent book club selection. There is so much to talk about with this book! There are some structural flaws with the writing style that I found distracting. The first half of the book is written as a passive account of what’s happening to this little boy; whereas, the second half is a more focused tale of a young man who’s struggling to figure out where he’s from. I found that much more interesting! The writing style makes sense because the real-life Taj wanted to tell his tale, but it would have made for a better book if it had started with the middle and maybe had flash backs of the truth. I don’t think it should have been told linearly. The story was a little boring this way because the reader already knows the reality of what happened. Ultimately, while I am glad I read this book, it’s not one that I would rush out and tell everyone they have to read. The strong themes of family and religion would perhaps make it a book better suited to a slightly older audience. Those looking to read something a bit more diverse would enjoy this title as well.
LDAY More than 1 year ago
LOVED LOVED this book!!!