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The Orphanmaster by Jean Zimmerman
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The Orphanmaster

$35.00 USD

Get for $14.99 with membership
Narrator George Guidall
Length 15 hours 1 minutes
Language English
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From a debut novelist, a gripping historical thriller and rousing love story set in seventeenth-century Manhattan

It’s 1663 in the tiny, hardscrabble Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, now present-day southern Manhattan. Orphan children are going missing, and among those looking into the mysterious state of affairs are a quick-witted twenty-two-year-old trader, Blandine von Couvering, herself an orphan, and a dashing British spy named Edward Drummond.

Suspects abound, including the governor’s wealthy nephew, a green-eyed aristocrat with decadent tastes; an Algonquin trapper who may be possessed by a demon that turns people into cannibals; and the colony’s own corrupt and conflicted orphanmaster. Both the search for the killer and Edward and Blandine’s newfound romance are endangered, however, when Blandine is accused of being a witch and Edward is sentenced to hang for espionage. Meanwhile, war looms as the English king plans to wrest control of the colony.

Jean Zimmerman brings New Amsterdam and its surrounding wilderness alive for modern-day readers with exacting period detail. Lively, fast paced, and full of colorful characters, The Orphanmaster is a dramatic page-turner that will appeal to fans of Hilary Mantel and Geraldine Brooks.

Jean Zimmerman collaborated with Felice Schwartz on Breaking with Tradition: Women and Work, the New Facts of Life and was the author of Tailspin: Women at War in the Wake of Tailhook. Her husband, Gil Reavill, is a freelance journalist. They live in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, with their daughter.

George Guidall is one of the foremost narrators in the audiobook industry, having recorded more than 800 unabridged novels. His 40-year career includes leading roles on- and off-Broadway and numerous appearances in film and television. He has won an Obie Award for best performance.

Jean Zimmerman collaborated with Felice Schwartz on Breaking with Tradition: Women and Work, the New Facts of Life and was the author of Tailspin: Women at War in the Wake of Tailhook. Her husband, Gil Reavill, is a freelance journalist. They live in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, with their daughter.

George Guidall is one of the foremost narrators in the audiobook industry, having recorded more than 800 unabridged novels. His 40-year career includes leading roles on- and off-Broadway and numerous appearances in film and television. He has won an Obie Award for best performance.

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Reviews

 
Praise for The Orphanmaster:

The Orphanmaster is a sweeping novel of great and precise imaginative intelligence; it's also the most entertaining and believable historical novel I've read in years. Jean Zimmerman is a debut novelist who already writes like an old master. Read any page of The Orphanmaster and you'll become an instant fan.” – Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life and Chang and Eng


“Jean Zimmerman's seventeenth-century New Amsterdam teems with enough intrigue, lust, and madness to give our twenty-first-century Big Apple a run for its money. And money is what drives this book – liberating, corrupting, forming the only bulwark against a terrifying, chaotic New World. Zimmerman's wit and humanity shine light in a dark woods, creating an uncommonly rich debut.” – Sheri Holman, author of The Dress Lodger

 “Here’s American history turned inside out, animated by Jean Zimmerman’s prodigious imagination. Monsters lurk in the shadows, chaos presses in, legends come alive, and one adventure leads with irresistible force to the next. The Orphanmaster is a breathtaking achievement.” – Joanna Scott, author of Arrogance and Various Antidotes

“[A] compulsively readable, heartbreaking, and grisly mystery set in a wild colonial America.” ALA Booklist

“A feisty young Dutch woman, an English spy, and a local demon all cross paths in 1663 New Amsterdam, in this Ludlumesque historical thriller…a successful mix of historical fiction, spy thriller, and horror.” Library Journal

"As in the best historical fiction, [Zimmerman] has created a kind of truce between the authority of the past and the accessibility of the present, revealing to us what it once meant to be alive, and what that history means to us now ... on nearly every page there is some unobtrusively offered word or description, of food, of architecture, of dress, that brings the period and its people into clearer focus." – USA Today

"Absorbing period fiction with the requisite colorful characters of the era." – The New York Daily News

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