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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Orphan Number Eight by Kim van Alkemade

The year 1919 - Rachel is a four year old living in a poor world but surrounded by much love and warmth. The bubble bursts in a tragic accident when her father accidentally shoots her mother. He flees away from the murder and both Sam and Rachel are left as orphans.

Rachel's new life in the Hebrew Orphans Home is a new experience of regulations, bells and discipline. Separated from her brother as well she plods along until she is taken into an experimental programme where children were being subjected to xrays in a radical new experiment. The years roll on and Rachel becomes more and more isolated growing up in a small world of the orphanage, pursuing her interests as a nurse aide and then finally leaving the home.

Her sadness is overwhelming when Sam her dearly loved brother skips from the Home after an incident with the warden's son and she feels orphaned once again. She decides to pursue her search of him and finally finds him though he is not the brother she once loved. He has other interests and wants to search out a life for himself. Rachel herself gets put into a predicament where she has to jump ship again and this she does very bravely not knowing what the next day will turn up.

Ending up as a nurse on a ward for the dying she comes face to face her with the doctor who treated her twenty years ago and the cause of her present health issues. Rachel has discovered a lump in her breast and is due for a radical surgery. She squarely blames Dr. Miriam Solomon for her illness and now is faced with a choice of mercy or revenge as Dr. Solomon is in her charge. All she seeks from Dr. Solomon is an apology for the treatment that she got as a child, but this she is not going to get. Dr Solomon lives in the glory of her past - being a woman doctor in an era where women were trivialized in the medical sector and is not going to apologize for anything she did - good or bad.

The story of family, betrayal of trust and choices that one has to make on the way is a good one. Choices that will ultimately influence our lives and is like a turning point in our life depending on the choice.

Very emotional, very human this was a book sent to me by Edelweiss. Enjoyed it tremendously.


  1. I really like the sound of this Mystica, thanks for sharing your review.

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  2. I am so touched by your review, Mystica! I am so glad you liked my novel. @KimvanAlkemade

  3. What a nice review of a book that obviously was tough to read and write about. I do like the sound of it.

  4. I'm curious to know what happened to Sam. I may have to read this one.

  5. This sounds like a powerful and emotional read. You've got me curious about it, Mystica. I will have to look for this one.

  6. What an interesting book. I hadn't seen this one around yet but I'll be looking for it.