Wednesday, July 6, 2022

BLOG TOUR - The Orphans of Amsterdam


Amsterdam, 1941. My hands are so shaky I’m fumbling. Where to hide? I pull open the dresser, throw aside the blankets, put the baby in and push the drawer shut, just as the nursery door swings open. The German officer marches into the room, yelling over the crying downstairs: ‘You! Grab all the children – now!’

Based on the heart-wrenching true story of an ordinary young woman who risked everything to save countless children from the Nazis.

My name is Betty. Until a few months ago, I was just like every other nursery teacher in the city… then the Nazis came and began to take our children away. Now, the nursery is part of a German deportation centre. Little ones and their families are being forced across the border, to a place called Auschwitz. No one comes back.

So when I hear there’s an underground network to save the children, I know I have to help. Sometimes the parents won’t be parted from them, and sometimes we can’t get to them in time – there are spies everywhere. But each time I smuggle the warm, innocent bundle of a sleeping baby past the Nazi guards and into the arms of the resistance, I know it’s worth the risk.

Tonight, in the pitch black, we are readying five little ones to escape ahead of a transport tomorrow. We don’t know where they’re going, and they may never see their parents again. As I button their coats and smooth their hair, my hands trembling, I hear the nightmare sound of heavy army boots on the stairs. My breath catches and my blood runs cold…

A heartbreaking and gripping read that will have you reaching for the tissues. Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of AuschwitzWe Were the Lucky Ones and The Nightingale.



Listen to a sample here:

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The Orphans of Amsterdam 
Author:  Elle van Rijn
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Historical Fiction 
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   339
Date of Publication:   July 5, 2022
My Rating:   5 Stars

Betty Oudkerk does everything she possibly can to protect children from the Nazis during the dark days of World War II. This tragic read is set in the Netherlands. After a nursery has been taken over by the Nazis, the nursery has been turned into a deportation center. Not only does Betty begin hiding children, a network of sorts is formed as she and other nurses do all they can to save these young lives. This book is based on a true story, a story that illustrates the exceptional feat of bravery by the remarkable Betty. 

Knowing that the nursery is only one stop along the way, with the final destination being Auschwitz, assuring certain destruction, Betty and others form an underground network to save as many young lives as possible. From nursery teacher to savior, Betty does all she can. With certain death a fair guarantee otherwise, Betty and the other nurses work feverishly hard in their endeavors. 

Based on a true story, a vast plan is set in motion and Betty and the others relentlessly work together with a mix of ingenuity and strength, and facilitate rescue after rescue. Often heartbreaking, this is a story that needs to be told. Sadly, pivotal people in history are often forgotten and a book like this helps to bring them the attention they deserve. 

This heartbreaking book illustrates the amazing talent that Elle van Rijn has when it comes to relating such an incredible story. This book proves what must’ve been an astonishing amount of research to make this such a readable account, one that will no doubt have you reaching for a box of tissues. In fact, in the letter at the end of the book not only there is something special to be found about what the author’s experiences were, she also states that “this story is about courage, about hatred and about exclusion”. We all can make a choice to do better like Betty did, and by writing this book, our fabulous author tells a story about decisions and choices that make us stronger and help us to protect our children.  

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review - 


Elle van Rijn is a Dutch actress, screenwriter of series and films, and author of columns, although her greatest passion lies with writing novels. 

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