I’m excited to be part of the Summer 2016 blog tour for The Orphan Keeper. Many thanks to the author and Smith Publicity for letting me take part – this was a truly amazing story!
Seven-year-old Chellamuthu’s life is forever changed when he is kidnapped from his village in India, sold to a Christian orphanage, and then adopted by an unsuspecting couple in the United States. It takes months before the boy can speak enough English to tell his parents that he already has a family back in India. Horrified, they try their best to track down his Indian family, but all avenues lead to dead ends.
Meanwhile, they simply love him, change his name to Taj, enroll him in school, make him part of their family–and his story might have ended there had it not been for the pestering questions in his head: Who am I? Why was I taken? How do I get home?
More than a decade later, Taj meets Priya, a girl from southern India with surprising ties to his past. Is she the key to unveil the secrets of his childhood or is it too late? And if he does make it back to India, how will he find his family with so few clues? From the best-selling author of The Rent Collector, this is a deeply moving and gripping journey of discovering one’s self and the unbreakable family bonds that connect us forever.
Genre: Biographical Fiction
Date of Publication: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
of pages: 432
This was an amazing tale, one eye-opening, heart-breaking and a bit astonishing – I was glued to the page from the very beginning. Never in the world have I read a more fortuitous coincidence as in this book. Camron Wright has written the story of Chellamuthu, keeping to the story he was told and fictionalizing parts where blanks needed to be filled in.
The Orphan Keeper was a two-tissue read for me. It is a tale of love of family, personal struggle and determination, vividly told. The characters are aptly depicted, and I was drawn into their struggles: the pain and abandonment felt by young Chellamuthu, the strong belief of the orphanage manager that he truly was giving the young people a chance at a better life (however misguided it was), the struggles of Taj to fit in as the only brown-skinned boy in several counties as he was growing up. His re-introduction to the Indian culture he had largely forgotten occurred while he was studying in London was fascinating. But it was the determination of Taj in his later years to seek out his family that stayed with me. Such a powerful and beautiful story about the strength of the family bond – I think it would be a wonderful pick for book clubs.
About the Author
I was provided an advanced reader copy for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own!