The Orphan Collector by Ellen Marie Wiseman #historicalfiction #review #5stars @ellenmariewise #kensingtonpublishing


From the internationally bestselling author of What She Left Behind comes a gripping and powerful tale of upheaval—a heartbreaking saga of resilience and hope perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams and Kristin Hannah—set in Philadelphia during the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak—the deadly pandemic that went on to infect one-third of the world’s population…

In the fall of 1918, thirteen-year-old German immigrant Pia Lange longs to be far from Philadelphia’s overcrowded slums and the anti-immigrant sentiment that compelled her father to enlist in the U.S. Army. But as her city celebrates the end of war, an even more urgent threat arrives: the Spanish flu. Funeral crepe and quarantine signs appear on doors as victims drop dead in the streets and desperate survivors wear white masks to ward off illness. When food runs out in the cramped tenement she calls home, Pia must venture alone into the quarantined city in search of supplies, leaving her baby brothers behind.

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.


Pia is a young, German girl living in the slums of Philadelphia with her twin brothers and her mother. Her father is fighting in the war overseas and they are struggling to survive. Then her mother dies of the Spanish Flu and the struggle worsens. Pia does everything she can to keep her family together. She slips out one day to find food and leaves her brothers at home alone. She collapses in the street and wakes up in a hospital sick with the flu. She is desperate to get to her brothers, but sadly, she is sent to an orphanage.

Pia struggles through most of her life. She is constantly trying to find a way to find her brothers. Adding to her stress is the orphanage…don’t even get me started! Then there is Bernice. She is pure evil and you MUST read this to find out why!

When I finished this read, I honestly said, “WOW!” This story is ripped straight from today’s headlines. Even though it is set in 1913, we are still fighting the same battles, immigration, racism and an epidemic. This novel also pulls at your heartstrings and I swear you just want to cry over some of these children.

You DO NOT want to miss this one! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

Purchase Here

Barnes and Noble


About fredreeca

I am an avid reader and paper crafter. I am a mom of 2 children, 5 dogs and 1 cat. I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals Fan
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