In 1919, Rachel Rabinowitz and her brother were placed in the Hebrew Orphans Home in New York City after a series of tragic family events. The orphanage is noted for its efficient care of over 1000 orphans and its modern medical facilities which include an X-ray machine. Dr. Mildred Solomon, a young radiologist eager to show her knowledge, carries out medical research using several of the orphans as research subjects.
Thirty-five years later in 1954, Rachel is now a nurse in the hospice wing of the Old Hebrews Home where she recognizes her new patient as Dr. Mildred Solomon. Rachel must now choose between forgiveness or revenge.
A fascinating but disturbing work of historical fiction by a new author who bears watching.
“Kim van Alkemade has moxie. In her provocative novel, family is saturated with betrayal, care is interrupted by ambition and desire, and the past is intimately explored, invoking the abandoned child in all of us. Orphan # 8 brims with complicated passions and pitch-perfect historical details. A riveting, memorable debut.” (Catherine Zobal Dent, author of Unfinished Stories of Girls)
“This book is utterly unputdownable. At once atmospheric, disturbing and absolutely engrossing, it poses a host of moral questions; I fully anticipate that it will become popular with book clubs.” (Historical Novels Review)