Bernice Groves has become lost in grief and bitterness since her baby died from the Spanish flu. Watching Pia leave her brothers alone, Bernice makes a shocking, life-altering decision. It becomes her sinister mission to tear families apart when they’re at their most vulnerable, planning to transform the city’s orphans and immigrant children into what she feels are “true Americans.”
Waking in a makeshift hospital days after collapsing in the street, Pia is frantic to return home. Instead, she is taken to St. Vincent’s Orphan Asylum – the first step in a long and arduous journey. As Bernice plots to keep the truth hidden at any cost in the months and years that follow, Pia must confront her own shame and fear, risking everything to see justice – and love – triumph at last. Powerful, harrowing, and ultimately exultant, The Orphan Collector is a story of love, resilience, and the lengths we will go to protect those who need us most.
Paperback, 304 pages
Audiobook, 15 hours, 51 minutes
Published July 28th 2020
by Kensington Publishing Corp.
I went the audio version for one main reason- I anticipated the emotional impact this book would have on me and knew time was lacking for a proper sitdown read. I knew once started I'd need to finish. That being said I didn’t read the blurb but judging from comments on social media and the title I got a feeling of what was to come.
The audio, which comes in at 15 plus hours fit perfectly into my plans for the week, - I was painting, painting and a little more painting. My gut instinct was that once I started I would need to finish, which is exactly what happened.
The Orphan Collector begins in 1918 and the Spanish flu has broken out, kinda fit right in with the world today minus social media. I connected right away with Pia. The author put me right there, I felt the emotional and physical struggles she was going through. I should add that she is only 13 years old. The story was told through her eyes as well as Bernice. I didn’t like her much even though lost in her own grief is no excuse for what she does. Both are authentic characters.
I won’t go into the events that transpired, I went in blind and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Suffice to say this is a captivating story, heartbreaking and sad. Remember it’s based around history and through nurse Bernice is fictional I am sure things similar could have happened.
Ellen Marie Wiseman is a new author for me, I like her pose and ability to draw me in with a unique story set during a time of turmoil. Her knowledge of the era is evident. The Orphan Collector is a well written book that has me searching for the authors backlist.
My audio copy was through Scribd.