The Orphan's Song
The historical adult debut novel by # 1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Kate, The Orphan's Song is a sweeping love story about family and music--and the secrets each hold--that follows the intertwined fates of two Venetian orphans. "A tangled knot of betrayal and love, lies and redemption. Marvelous." --Fiona Davis, author of The AddressA song brought them together.A secret will tear them apart.Venice, 1736. When fate brings Violetta and Mino together on the roof of the Hospital of the Incurables, they form a connection that will change their lives forever. Both are orphans at the Incurables, dreaming of escape. But when the resident Maestro notices Violetta's voice, she is selected for the Incurables' world famous coro, and must sign an oath never to sing beyond its church doors.After a declaration of love ends in heartbreak, Mino flees the Incurables in search of his family. Known as the "city of masks," Venice is full of secrets, and Mino is certain one will lead to his long-lost mother. Without him, the walls close in on Violetta and she begins a dangerous and forbidden nightlife, hoping her voice can secure her freedom. But neither finds what they are looking for, until a haunting memory Violetta has suppressed since childhood leads them to a shocking confrontation.Vibrant with the glamour and beauty of Venice at its zenith, The Orphan's Song takes us on a breathtaking journey of passion, heartbreak, and betrayal before it crescendos to an unforgettable ending, a celebration of the enduring nature and transformative power of love.

The Orphan's Song Details

TitleThe Orphan's Song
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 25th, 2019
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN-139780735212572
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Adult, Romance

The Orphan's Song Review

  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    Title: The Orphan's SongSeries: StandaloneAuthor: Lauren KateRelease date: June 25, 2019Cliffhanger: NoGenre: historical fictionLife was like music; if you changed a single note, you changed the entire song.I loved the premise of this story and how it was inspired in real life. The author's note explains how the idea took root, and how she became completely immersed in Mino and Violetta's world in 18th century Venice. While visiting the city, she stumbled upon the real life building that was on Title: The Orphan's SongSeries: StandaloneAuthor: Lauren KateRelease date: June 25, 2019Cliffhanger: NoGenre: historical fictionLife was like music; if you changed a single note, you changed the entire song.I loved the premise of this story and how it was inspired in real life. The author's note explains how the idea took root, and how she became completely immersed in Mino and Violetta's world in 18th century Venice. While visiting the city, she stumbled upon the real life building that was once an orphanage called the Incurables and her interest was piqued. It was as if fate had delivered a hidden gem into her lap. I give the author a huge amount of respect for the attention to detail that was put into showing us this lush city and its inhabitants. The sights, sounds, and culture were described so vividly that I was transported to glittering Venice in all of its seductive extravagance. That was without a doubt my favorite thing about reading this novel. The first stage of the story begins in early childhood, taking you through the innocence and hope of first love. This is my favorite part of the book, watching them steal away in secret to meet in the quiet hours of the night. You learn how regimented their life is, how sequestered they are from the world, and how their lives are not their own. All decisions are made for them, and punishment is swift if you don't obey. Violetta is an impulsive and rebellious girl for her time, but her rebellions have always been minor until she met Mino. From the very first time they encountered each other on the rooftop, they felt a special connection unlike any other in their young lives. It began with a song, and that song would tie them together through friendship, love, heartbreak, and unattainable dreams. They share a love of music in a way that wouldn't be approved of, but they can't help but hold it close while they have the chance. Incurable girls were expected to be chaste and obedient, and Violetta doesn't feel confident that she fits the mold she's required to fit in. When she sings, this causes her to be timid and unsure. But the song she shares with Mino will unlock passion in her voice that could give her a future in the coveted coro. It's something she's always been desperate to achieve, but suddenly she's conflicted. Mino's affection for her was instant and touching. He was so devoted to his Violetta and desperate to find a way to hold onto the time that was slipping away from them. Unfortunately, life gets in the way of his grand plans for their future. When we move into the next part of the book, bad decisions and betrayals were made that cause an irreparable break. They both despair, and go through a period of that leads them down lonely paths. Perhaps it was just their youth causing these rash choices, but it really illustrates how one action can change the entire course of your life when you're on the edge of adulthood. This portion of the story was a little slow for my liking, and kind of depressing to read, especially on Mino's end. He goes through some desperate times that really hurts your heart. Mino and Violetta are living in the same city, but so isolated from each other that it seems impossible that they'd ever find a way back to each other. With time they try to move on, but the feelings they shared are pressed into their hearts where time and circumstance can never touch them. As we barreled on in the hope that they would meet again, there are secrets lurking that will change both of their lives forever. I started to get a hint at what was to be revealed somewhat early on, and it turned out just as I'd suspected. It was disturbing and uncomfortable, but surprising, no. Most of the story wasn't really romantic, it was somewhat dark and dismal. However I appreciated the themes of family, love and sacrifice, and how they can change and grow through hardships and challenges in life. This was a well written historical fiction novel. I absolutely loved the setting and learning so much about the time period. The love story was often bittersweet, making your heart ache for what these two must go through. While I didn't always agree or understand their choices, I enjoyed the final destination and their lessons learned. This is Lauren Kate's first adult fiction, and my first time reading her. It certainly won't be my last. I love her beautiful way with words, and her skill in bringing her characters to life so sharply. If she has any more historical novels planned, you won't have to pull my arm to read it. I'll be lining up to see what she has to offer next. FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:
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  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    This author was previously a YA author and it shows. There are pages and pages of Violetta and Mino's one day of freedom and stolen kiss. I think this must be more appealing to a younger audience but bored me to tears. Luckily, there were lots of interesting parts to make up for it. It's set in Venice in the 1700's and the sense of place and time is excellent. Violetta and Mino were orphans in The Incurables Orphanage. The girls were raised to be musicians, mostly singers, who sang at church se This author was previously a YA author and it shows. There are pages and pages of Violetta and Mino's one day of freedom and stolen kiss. I think this must be more appealing to a younger audience but bored me to tears. Luckily, there were lots of interesting parts to make up for it. It's set in Venice in the 1700's and the sense of place and time is excellent. Violetta and Mino were orphans in The Incurables Orphanage. The girls were raised to be musicians, mostly singers, who sang at church services. The boys were just raised and then set up in apprenticeships or just released. The girls led very restrictive lives and rarely let outside. Violetta longs to see the outside world and don a mask that everyone in Venice wears at that time. She and Milo make a dash for freedom that leads to a horrible break-up. They look at their relationship quite differently. Violetta is caught and punished quite severely. Milo loses his apprenticeship and begins living on the street. They rebuild their lives and this is quite interesting.I really like the tales of Venice and life at that time. A little less talk about the kiss would have helped this book tremendously. Thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
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  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Abandoned by her mother at two days old and seeing another mother abandon her child at the orphanage turned Violetta off from ever wanting to be a wife or a mother.When Violetta meets Mino from the boys’ side of the orphanage, it is instant attraction, but he wants what she won’t give him - a promise to be his wife and mother of his children which would be a way out of the orphanage, but she can't do it. The Incurables is an orphanage that stresses music. Violetta works hard at her singing, but Abandoned by her mother at two days old and seeing another mother abandon her child at the orphanage turned Violetta off from ever wanting to be a wife or a mother.When Violetta meets Mino from the boys’ side of the orphanage, it is instant attraction, but he wants what she won’t give him - a promise to be his wife and mother of his children which would be a way out of the orphanage, but she can't do it. The Incurables is an orphanage that stresses music. Violetta works hard at her singing, but it isn’t what she really wants.What she really wants is to know who her mother is, to find Mino’s mother, to be able to love Mino, and to be part of the coro that sings behind panels at The Incurables.We follow Mino and Violetta in their separate lives and both wishing they were together. You will feel their pain and sorrow and wonder how it will turn out for them.Ms. Kate’s writing style is smooth and inviting. I was immediately pulled into the book because of the story line and the characters. You could feel yourself with characters as they went to many a masked party in Venice and then spent their isolated days.THE ORPHAN'S SONG is a mesmerizing read that takes us onto the streets of Venice and into its churches during the 1700's as we experience the mystery and the beauty of the music and its captivating hold on those who hear the violins playing and the singing of the girls in the coro.If you enjoy books set in Venice, books set in the 1700's, lovers longing for each other, music, a family saga, secrets, and a beautiful, well-researched story line, you will want to add THE ORPHAN'S SONG to your reading list.THE ORPHAN'S SONG is a heartfelt read that will leave you longing for more and wanting to visit Venice for its beauty, its history, and its people. 5/5This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Karen Macedo
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in a goodreads giveaway. Thank you to G.P. Putnam's Sons. I really liked this book . The story is about two orphans who find solace in each other. The descriptions of Venice in the 1700's are captivating. A good historical fiction..
  • Karen Kay
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from Netgalley.com for a review. Violetta a soprano and Mino a violinist, want nothing more than to make music. But circumstances and proper behavior prevent them from being together. The story lagged a bit in the middle.3.25 stars
  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    Venice, 1725: At the southern edge of the city, there is a nursery for foundling children, the Incurables, renowned for training its foundling girls into a conservatory of musicians. “Foundling boys grew up and moved on to apprenticeships; they needed no musical training. But to keep the girls off the streets, they were taught to sing and play for the church (…) The Incurables was made of music – the finest in the city and therefore in the world.”Violetta, one of the foundling girls, now at the Venice, 1725: At the southern edge of the city, there is a nursery for foundling children, the Incurables, renowned for training its foundling girls into a conservatory of musicians. “Foundling boys grew up and moved on to apprenticeships; they needed no musical training. But to keep the girls off the streets, they were taught to sing and play for the church (…) The Incurables was made of music – the finest in the city and therefore in the world.”Violetta, one of the foundling girls, now at the age of 16, is hoping to make the ‘coro’ as soprano. One day, on a rooftop she meets a boy Mino, who is her age. Like her, he’s been sneaking out to have a secret time for his soul – playing violin. As a foundling boy music has been forbidden for him. They become a duet, him playing violin and her singing freely what is forbidden at the Incurables.Once Mino leaves the Incurables and is out of touch with Violetta, there are a lot of his thoughts, dreams, and assumptions evolving around Violetta. As a result the story becomes stagnant, there is not much progression.Meanwhile, Violetta is promoted to the coro and finds her purpose. But at the same time, she keeps thinking about Mino. And it’s the same result, slowing the progression of the story.What attracted me to this story was the famous orphanage of Venice. The first 20% of the story is very solid, interesting with richly presented time period, for example, introducing “cicisbei, a strange breed of cavalier servants particular to Venice’s patrician class.” But after that, this becomes a love story of two young broken hearts with slow progression of the plot, making this story more appropriate for those who like to read romance story, rather than historical [email protected]/BestHistoricalFiction
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    “Love, as Mino felt it, meant taking your beloved in your arms, tipping her lips, and saying I love you with all of yourself.”I’m not gonna lie. I am a huge fan of Lauren Kate’s young adult books and totally loved her Fallen Series. So, when I heard that Lauren Kate was not only dipping her toes in Adult Fiction, but Historical Romance, I just knew I had to get my hands on this book.The Orphan’s Song is set in 1736 Venice. On the rooftop of the Hospital for Incurables, fate has brought together “Love, as Mino felt it, meant taking your beloved in your arms, tipping her lips, and saying I love you with all of yourself.”I’m not gonna lie. I am a huge fan of Lauren Kate’s young adult books and totally loved her Fallen Series. So, when I heard that Lauren Kate was not only dipping her toes in Adult Fiction, but Historical Romance, I just knew I had to get my hands on this book.The Orphan’s Song is set in 1736 Venice. On the rooftop of the Hospital for Incurables, fate has brought together Violetta & Mino. Both being orphans with big dreams and holes in their hearts. They form an unbreakable bond. Milo & Violetta want nothing more than a bright future that they have been denied. Mino longs to escape and build the life he’s always dreamed of, but Violetta wants nothing more than to sing. Despite the love that they built and the bond that they share, life has taken them on two different paths. Both are desperate to make their dreams come true, but their dreams couldn’t be more different than their reality….The Orphan’s Song was a truly enchanting story. It’s filled with rich history, romance, and intrigue. Milo & Violetta’s story pulls you in instantly and consumes you. Milo & Violetta’s journey is complicated and filled with lots of ups and downs. A song might have brought them together, but life tore them apart. They were set on two different paths, forever changing their lives. That is until fate decides once again to reunite these two young lovers.As someone who struggles with historical romance/fiction, I really loved being able to lose myself in this story and these characters. Lauren Kate has created a truly unique and intriguing story that will keep you glued to the pages. You will get swept up in the music, and the scenery. I enjoyed everything about this story, from beginning to end and am so glad I decided to take a chance on this book.*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via the publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons & Penguin Random House, in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Virginia
    January 1, 1970
    As a fan of Lauren Kate's YA novels, I was not disappointed by this book. Written with the same ease as her previous works, Kate works in more adult topics perfect for its mysterious and magical setting of Venice. The story follow two orphans who grew up in The Hospital of the Incurables known as a orphanage and a revered music school. The two characters, Violetta and Mino, meet under unexpected circumstances and find a kindred soul in the other. However, their goals in life are very different a As a fan of Lauren Kate's YA novels, I was not disappointed by this book. Written with the same ease as her previous works, Kate works in more adult topics perfect for its mysterious and magical setting of Venice. The story follow two orphans who grew up in The Hospital of the Incurables known as a orphanage and a revered music school. The two characters, Violetta and Mino, meet under unexpected circumstances and find a kindred soul in the other. However, their goals in life are very different and their paths separate as Violetta chases after her dreams. Venice won't let these two separate for long as the city of masks and anonymity is also a small one. Filled with interesting characters, beautiful settings, and a thrilling twist, this will be perfect for anyone who is a Lauren Kate fan as well as those who enjoy historical fiction novels with a happy ending.**Read Thanks to an ARC from Putnam**
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  • Jillian Doherty
    January 1, 1970
    I adored Lauren Kait‘s previous series, and was elated to discover her new book.A charming love story set in Venice, quickly becomes heartbreaking when too young lives are separated by the people they think they should be.Their lives are forever changed; one on believable moment set in motion new stories full of music, searing back drops, and colorful characters.I enjoyed the end of the story as much as the beginning!Galli borrowed from the publisher.
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  • Sharlene
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my, I can't say enough about how much I loved this book. Very informative about the time period in Venice and such great characters. Could not put it down and stayed up late reading.
  • Shannon Dyer
    January 1, 1970
    I love this period of history! Review to come at AAR.
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I could not put this book down and it’s got me evenmore curious about Venice during this time period.
  • Meredith Rankin
    January 1, 1970
    The Orphan's Song by Lauren KateGenre: historicalPublisher: PenguinPublication Date: 2019Thanks to Netgalley, Penguin Books, and Lauren Kate for providing an advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate it. Summary: In 18th century Venice, orphans have few options. In the orphanage known as the Incurables, a young boy and girl meet secretly and bond over their mutual love of music and dreams of escape. Violetta, a gifted singer, is chosen for the widely-renowned coro. Bu The Orphan's Song by Lauren KateGenre: historicalPublisher: PenguinPublication Date: 2019Thanks to Netgalley, Penguin Books, and Lauren Kate for providing an advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate it. Summary: In 18th century Venice, orphans have few options. In the orphanage known as the Incurables, a young boy and girl meet secretly and bond over their mutual love of music and dreams of escape. Violetta, a gifted singer, is chosen for the widely-renowned coro. But she must sign a pledge that she will never sing outside the church. This chafes at her independent spirit and the more deeply she longs to sing on the outside. A chance comes and she embarks on a dangerous double life. She met Mino as a young teen. Also an orphan, Mino has taught himself to play violin. As you might imagine, the two are drawn to each other because of their mutual love of music. He has a "token" of the mother who abandoned him as at the orphanage and dreams of reuniting with her. He also dreams of Violetta. But after his proposal goes wrong, he goes to search for his mother. Will either find the freedom and love they long for? My thoughts: What worked for me: 1. The love between Violetta and MinoThe young people fall in love. Predictable. They are instantly drawn to one another. Standard fare in fiction. But what makes their romance believable is how Kate uses their mutual passion for music to draw them together. Both Violetta and Mino are passionate about creating music. (In real life, I've noticed that when one person is musically gifted, their romantic partner is, too.) It's not insta-love, but it is an insta-bond: both are orphans, both love music, both are relatively ignorant of the world outside the Incurables. Love blossoms during their secret meetings.It's surprising that both are capable of loving other people. But in my opinion, that's realistic, too. Sometimes lovers part ways and move on, learning to love other people. I think Mino in particular grew as a person through the influence of Ana, and I appreciated that he had the strength of character to embrace their relationship. 2. The paceThis isn't historical mystery or suspense. I expected the story to unfold slowly and in one sense, it did. Things happen gradually; there's not a lot of "big" action moments. (If you're looking for gunfire and bombs and knifings, you'll have to look elsewhere.) But the narrative moves forward smoothly, like a gondola steered along the Venetian canals by an experienced gondolier (in this case, the author!): quickly enough to make the story move forward, slowly enough to savor the sights of beautiful Venice and its mysterious masked citizens. 3. The charactersMino and Violetta are both richly drawn characters. They have their strengths and weaknesses. I wish Kate had explored some of the secondary characters (like Laura, Violetta's best friend, or Carlos and Ana) in more depth.There's a great canine character, though: Sprezz makes a terrific companion for Mino at his lowest points and spurs him on to continue living when he despairs. What didn't work for me: At several points, the plot hinged on coincidental meetings. Without giving away any of the plot, I'll just say that it's very convenient for two people to want to see each other to accidentally meet on a bridge. It's possibly too convenient. After all, how many bridges are there in Venice? And they simply happened to be on the same one at the same time? A second weakness involves the fate of Mino's mother. Violetta finds a clue as to what happened to his long-gone mother and from there, comes to a conclusion that isn't completely logical. It's feasible, yes, but it's a big step from the known facts to her conclusion. It's also a bit strange that Mino acts upon her conclusion without much thought about the consequences or further investigation. (Though given his emotionally distraught state, that's believable.) Final Impression:With gorgeous writing and great characters, this book evokes Venice at its high point. Some weak spots but a solid historical novel.
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received this book for free from BookCon 2019 and G.P. Putnam's Sons in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This book was absolutely beautiful.I don’t typically go in for romance, but sometimes, when it’s paired with exquisitely written historical fiction, I fall head-over-heels for it. That’s how I feel about The Orphan’s Song.I picked this book up at BookCon a couple weeks ago, and had the opportunity to meet Laur Disclaimer: I received this book for free from BookCon 2019 and G.P. Putnam's Sons in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This book was absolutely beautiful.I don’t typically go in for romance, but sometimes, when it’s paired with exquisitely written historical fiction, I fall head-over-heels for it. That’s how I feel about The Orphan’s Song.I picked this book up at BookCon a couple weeks ago, and had the opportunity to meet Lauren Kate. I’d read Fallen when I was younger and I remember very little of it except that there were parts I really liked, and parts I thought were super cheesy. I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Orphan’s Song as Lauren moved from YA to adult, but I think she’s found a perfect fit. Once I started reading, I just couldn’t put it down.Venice has always enraptured me, particularly in this era. It’s as though it’s a different world, where everyone is hidden behind masks. Lauren has brought the historic culture of Venice to life, but she’s also bought vibrant characters from all social classes and a beautiful story of music and passion. Sometimes, you read a book, and you can feel the author’s lifeblood in it? That’s The Orphan’s Song.This book is told in two voices – Mino and Violetta. They’re both orphans, raised in the House of the Incurables. They fell in love young, but they went their separate ways. Maybe I’m reading the wrong books, but I feel like that “the one that got away” romantic trope has been sorely absent as of late, and so help me… I love it. There’s so many shades of emotion – joy, excitement, pride, fear, loss, ruin, passion… Lauren Kate writes it all as for the reader to experience alongside Mino and Violetta. It feels like more than just words.At first, her writing style threw me a bit. It was beautiful, but not in a flowery way. If anything, it was overly simple, but it didn’t feel unskilled. At the end of the book (this isn’t really a spoiler, just something I didn’t put together), we find out that they story is actually being told by another character, and suddenly the style of writing fell into place for me. But not knowing that, I was ready to criticize it. And at the same time, I really liked it? I think that if I read several books with a similar style back to back, it would be exhausting, but this one by itself was lovely in its own way and I appreciated it.I will say that the pacing was quick. I never felt like we were truly delving into the heart of the story, because this tale takes the reader from when the characters are young children well into adulthood. The transitions are flawless, but just as I was getting the rhythm of the coro, we were at La Sirena and it seemed like a race to keep up at times. I’m not sure if the story as it stands would have worked otherwise, and I liked each of the scenes on their own… but it was fast.Most romance novels – even those using romance as a subgenre – don’t both with a plot outside of the love story. I actually appreciated that this one did, and it was as much of a plot device to bring the two back together as it was a lifelong search. The grand reveal at the end felt a bit rushed, but the two ships had sailed past each other unbeknownst so many times… I forgive it.All in all, I really liked this book, and I don’t say that lightly. I’m not much of a romantic, but this one had a magical feel, even though it was historical fiction. You could feel the author’s love for the city in the pages. It’s also a quick read, and a good, deeply romantic pool-side read for this muggy June days. I’d easily recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and romance, and for those who read Fallen and her other work when they were younger and have grown a bit since… Lauren Kate’s writing has grown as well and this is definitely worth a read.
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    The Orphan's Song is a beautiful story of a strange and interesting time and place in history.Venice, 1736. Violetta is an orphan who lives at the Hospital of the Incurables. Not only does it house syphilitic people, but it is an orphanage that trains singers for the coro, a famous group that sings at the church. Mino is an orphan who lives on the boys' side. Girls and boys never see each other. Boys are kept until a suitable apprenticeship can be found.Weird things:1. During this period of time The Orphan's Song is a beautiful story of a strange and interesting time and place in history.Venice, 1736. Violetta is an orphan who lives at the Hospital of the Incurables. Not only does it house syphilitic people, but it is an orphanage that trains singers for the coro, a famous group that sings at the church. Mino is an orphan who lives on the boys' side. Girls and boys never see each other. Boys are kept until a suitable apprenticeship can be found.Weird things:1. During this period of time in Venice, people almost always wore masks in public. Which, of course, is sometimes very convenient. Or dangerous. Or inconvenient.2. If Violetta is chosen for the coro, she will sign an oath to never sing anywhere else in Venice--ever. Coro singers, after their time in the group, will either be married or sent to a nunnery.3. People leave orphaned children on a wheel, so no harm comes to them. They put the child on the wheel, and turn it so they are inside until someone in the hospital finds them.Violetta and Mino both take solace on the roof of the hospital, and eventually meet and begin a relationship. Mino plays a violin that he has repaired himself. Violetta sings. What Mino doesn't know is that Violetta witnessed, from this rooftop, Mino's mother dropping him off on the wheel. The song she sings to Mino is the song his mother sang when she left him. Mino has half a token with a picture on it. His mother has the other half. Mino vows to find his mother once he leaves the hospital.Mino does get an apprenticeship building gondolas that float on the canals of Venice. He builds a life and a solid future for him and Violetta. On one of the few outings that the females are allowed, he steals Violetta and asks her to marry him. To his shock, she says "no."This begins Mino's demise into poverty. He becomes a beggar, living day to day. Violetta becomes the premier singer in the coro. But she isn't happy either and begins to sneak out at night. She finds a gambling house and meets the owner who convinces her to sing once a week. She becomes famous. (Remember, all of this is under her mask.)Mino's fortunes eventually begin to improve. And both of our main characters seem like they will be happy in their separate lives, even though they never forget each other. Happiness is fleeting.I was mesmerized by the setting and characters in The Orphan's Song. Such a different and bizarre world. It seems they will never find each other. How can they -- even if they were looking for each other -- they are always under masks! It makes for an exciting tale. My only complaint is that the story really dragged for a while in the middle. Lots of setup before things really start happening. A minor complaint. Since I enjoyed the world Kate had created, I was patient.If you are at all interested in history, especially historical romances, The Orphan's Song is a wonderful example.
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  • Autumn
    January 1, 1970
    There is so much that Violetta wants to know about the world. She wants to know what it’s like outside of the walls of the Incurables. She wants to know what it would be like to be as carefree as the glamourous women she watches drink the day away in the city’s grand cafés and more than anything, she wants to know what it’s really like to be loved. She thought that she had glimpsed true love one day while hiding out on the roof of the orphanage. For Violetta, love was a boy with blonde hair who There is so much that Violetta wants to know about the world. She wants to know what it’s like outside of the walls of the Incurables. She wants to know what it would be like to be as carefree as the glamourous women she watches drink the day away in the city’s grand cafés and more than anything, she wants to know what it’s really like to be loved. She thought that she had glimpsed true love one day while hiding out on the roof of the orphanage. For Violetta, love was a boy with blonde hair who could play the violin with breathtaking passion. Love was something that she would never be able to call her own.Before she lost her nerve, she stepped close and put her arms around Mino. She leaned her head against his and held him, feeling his arms come around her. Her cheek to his, she gazed beyond his shoulder to the horizon. For years, each of them had nurtured this music privately within them. Now Violetta could almost see how the song had entered into the world. They’d let it out, a physical force, a subtle shift of light and sky. It was everywhere. How far would it go?Mino was one of the rare orphans who could remember his mother. He could still hear her voice singing a song that he thought only he knew the words to. Somehow, Letta knows them too. From that moment, he's determined to prove to her that despite their youth and all of obstacles in their way, that they belong together - now and forever. But all orphans know how cruel the world can really be. One mistake can change your path forever. And true love is worth sacrificing everything for. Life was like music; if you changed a single note, you changed the entire song. Mino had made mistakes. He had hurt those he cared for and given up too soon. He had been a fool, a coward, a failure—and if he hadn’t been each of those things in precisely the ways he had, he wouldn’t be standing on this bridge right now with Letta and the other half of his token in his hand.The Orphan’s Song is a haunting tale of devotion and sacrifice. In her first historical novel, Lauren Kate’s one-of-a-kind dreamlike prose brings her characters to vivid life. Even the city of Venice becomes a character itself - shimmering with promise and deception. Every nuance – from the music to the heartbreak – blends together exquisitely to make this an experience that fans both old and new will devour. And now I count myself amongst them…
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  • Jeanie
    January 1, 1970
    Life was like music; if you changed a single note, you changed the entire song. You make mistakes. You hurt those that you care for and give up to soon. You can be a fool, a coward, a failure and without those things, you may never find your purpose. A lyrical love story of Mino and Letta. Both were abandoned by their mothers for different reasons and left at an orphanage that housed abandoned children. Letta was a only two days old when she was abandoned and the only thing she knew was music an Life was like music; if you changed a single note, you changed the entire song. You make mistakes. You hurt those that you care for and give up to soon. You can be a fool, a coward, a failure and without those things, you may never find your purpose. A lyrical love story of Mino and Letta. Both were abandoned by their mothers for different reasons and left at an orphanage that housed abandoned children. Letta was a only two days old when she was abandoned and the only thing she knew was music and that she would never become a mother. She witnessed a mother living a small child in a abandoned wheel. Where babies are placed and mothers can leave in obscurity. However, Letta witnessed the mother's heartache as she left her son a 1/2 pendant. Hoping maybe one day to claim the son she left. As fate would have it Letta and the boy known as Mino meet on the roof top where they make a connection with their music. Mino still has the pendant that his mother left for him and dreams of finding her. Letta dreams of singing and her love for music draws her to Mino as he plays his violin for her. Their love for each other becomes tragic as Mino dreams are not the same as Letta. Letta makes a decision that will haunt her and keep her from the love of her life. This decision putts Mino and Letta on different paths where they eventually meet up again.Their love story is in the setting of Vienna and with the Carnival and the church interwoven in their tragic search for acceptance, purpose and a home, they each cling to the pureness of music. The one thing that has rang true in their lives and the one thing that that will make them together. A Special Thank you to Penguin Group and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
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  • Tonya (Rustic Book Reviews)
    January 1, 1970
    I am so excited I was chosen as one of the goodreads winner for this book. I have never read a book by Lauren Kate because I wasn't sure I wanted to read the other books she has out but when I seen this one, I just had to enter. I am so excited I won. Goodreads synopsis:The historical adult debut novel by # 1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Kate, The Orphan's Song is a sweeping love story about family and music--and the secrets each hold--that follows the intertwined fates of two Veneti I am so excited I was chosen as one of the goodreads winner for this book. I have never read a book by Lauren Kate because I wasn't sure I wanted to read the other books she has out but when I seen this one, I just had to enter. I am so excited I won. Goodreads synopsis:The historical adult debut novel by # 1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Kate, The Orphan's Song is a sweeping love story about family and music--and the secrets each hold--that follows the intertwined fates of two Venetian orphans. A song brought them together.A secret will tear them apart. Venice, 1736. When fate brings Violetta and Mino together on the roof of the Hospital of the Incurables, they form a connection that will change their lives forever. Both are orphans at the Incurables, dreaming of escape. But when the resident Maestro notices Violetta's voice, she is selected for the Incurables' world famous coro, and must sign an oath never to sing beyond its church doors.After a declaration of love ends in heartbreak, Mino flees the Incurables in search of his family. Known as the "city of masks," Venice is full of secrets, and Mino is certain one will lead to his long-lost mother. Without him, the walls close in on Violetta and she begins a dangerous and forbidden nightlife, hoping her voice can secure her freedom. But neither finds what they are looking for, until a haunting memory Violetta has suppressed since childhood leads them to a shocking confrontation.Vibrant with the glamour and beauty of Venice at its zenith, The Orphan's Song takes us on a breathtaking journey of passion, heartbreak, and betrayal before it crescendos to an unforgettable ending, a celebration of the enduring nature and transformative power of love.
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  • Yolanda
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Penguin Group PUTNAM and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this eArc.I requested this book because it takes place in Venice during the 1700’s. I fell in love with Venice when my husband and I visited the city briefly on a European tour. My time there was short but so memorable. It is a place oozing with mystery and character.Violetta and Mino are orphans of the Hospital of the Incurables, which was a place for treatment of those suffering from syphillis. The hospital a Thank you to Penguin Group PUTNAM and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this eArc.I requested this book because it takes place in Venice during the 1700’s. I fell in love with Venice when my husband and I visited the city briefly on a European tour. My time there was short but so memorable. It is a place oozing with mystery and character.Violetta and Mino are orphans of the Hospital of the Incurables, which was a place for treatment of those suffering from syphillis. The hospital also had an orphanage attached to it. The children that grow up there are given some opportunities as they age. The girls can sing in the church coro (choir) and the boys are given apprenticeships.Violetta wants to be a singer in the coro with all her heart. Mino plays the violin and they befriend each other, sharing moments in their secret place, the rooftop of the orphanage. There is love between them, but Violetta doesn’t see any hope for them. As a child, Violetta witnessed Mino’s mother dropping him at the orphanage and since that moment she vowed never to become a mother.Violetta’s rejection devastates Mino. It was heartbreaking watching him lose his way, trying to find the mother that left him, and moving on from the girl that broke him. The two of them take on separate journeys and they only meet again in the later half of the book. All throughout the story it’s evident their lives are intertwined by what seems to be fate or love. I just felt awful for Mino though.The only thing that didn’t quite work out for me was the secret of Mino’s father. When that was revealed, I thought, really? It had to be him of all people? Poor Mino, hasn’t he been through enough?I read this book in one night. I kept rooting for Mino and Violetta, because their love was so beautiful in the beginning. I was hoping they would eventually find their way to one another. It’s a rough journey for them but I enjoyed this love story and being whisked away to the “city of masks” was a plus.
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  • Joan Happel
    January 1, 1970
    Set in 18th century Venice, the story follows two orphans, Violetta and Mino. Both are residents of the Incurables, a hospital and orphanage where girls are trained in music with the hopes of joining the Coro, while the boys are sent out for apprenticeships. Violetta and Mino meet one day in the attic of the orphanage where each has gone to dream of a different future. Violetta wants to escape into the Venice she sees below her and be able to sing freely, while Mino just wants to be able to play Set in 18th century Venice, the story follows two orphans, Violetta and Mino. Both are residents of the Incurables, a hospital and orphanage where girls are trained in music with the hopes of joining the Coro, while the boys are sent out for apprenticeships. Violetta and Mino meet one day in the attic of the orphanage where each has gone to dream of a different future. Violetta wants to escape into the Venice she sees below her and be able to sing freely, while Mino just wants to be able to play his violin and look for the mother that haunts his memories. After Mino is sent out to fulfill his apprenticeship, Violetta is promoted as the starring soprano in the famous Coro. Still longing for the world outside her walls, Violetta finds a way to escape for a few precious hours in the evenings and soon finds herself singing at the el Sireno, a club owned by the mysterious Fredrico. As Violetta and Mino’s lives seem to be running on different paths, their stories are fated to converge.Written with lyrical prose, this well-researched historical fiction novel places the reader in a Venice of masqueraders, free to pursue their deepest desires with anonymity. The sights, sounds and aromas of 18th century Venice come alive within the pages. A mesmerizing, often bittersweet tale, The Orphan’s song is more romance than historical fiction, but fans of both genres will find much to enjoy and keep them turning the pages until the dramatic conclusion.Thank you to Penguin Group/Putman and NetGalley for the e-ARC.
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  • Marilyn Rondeau
    January 1, 1970
    Based on the intertwined fates of two Venetian orphans in Venice, 1736, fate brings Violetta and Mino together on the roof of the Hospital of the Incurables. They formed a connection that will change their lives forever. Both are orphans at the Incurables, dreaming of escape. But when the resident Maestro notices Violetta's voice, she is selected for the Incurables' world famous coro, and must sign an oath never to sing beyond its church doors.Years before Violetta had seen and saved Mino after Based on the intertwined fates of two Venetian orphans in Venice, 1736, fate brings Violetta and Mino together on the roof of the Hospital of the Incurables. They formed a connection that will change their lives forever. Both are orphans at the Incurables, dreaming of escape. But when the resident Maestro notices Violetta's voice, she is selected for the Incurables' world famous coro, and must sign an oath never to sing beyond its church doors.Years before Violetta had seen and saved Mino after she witnessed his mother leaving him at the Incurables (where unwanted babies were left and brought up as orphans) Mino desperately wanted to find his mother and after his declaration of love ends in heartbreak, Mino flees the Incurables in search of his family. Known as the "city of masks," Venice is full of secrets, and Mino is certain one will lead to his long-lost mother. Without him, the walls close in on Violetta and she begins a dangerous and forbidden nightlife, hoping her voice can secure her freedom. But neither finds what they are looking for, until a haunting memory Violetta has suppressed since childhood leads them to a shocking confrontation.THE ORPHAN’S SONG is mesmerizing, emotional, and totally spellbinding. The history of the city of Venice in that century made for such a compelling read. The sensuality and romance was both thrilling, emotional, and exciting. And the reveal of Mino’s mother was a thrilling twist.Marilyn Rondeau
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    The author has set her book in Venice in 1736 during a period in Venice’s life where everyone is required to wear face masks, with only two exceptions, and where a scandal is created if a man and his wife appear in public together. There is wide-spread corruption and nothing is what it seems to be. Against this background, the author introduces Violetta, abandoned by her mother when she was only two days old, and Mino, an abandoned boy, who only wants to find his parents. Violetta is destined to The author has set her book in Venice in 1736 during a period in Venice’s life where everyone is required to wear face masks, with only two exceptions, and where a scandal is created if a man and his wife appear in public together. There is wide-spread corruption and nothing is what it seems to be. Against this background, the author introduces Violetta, abandoned by her mother when she was only two days old, and Mino, an abandoned boy, who only wants to find his parents. Violetta is destined to live her entire life inside the walls of the Hospital of the Incurables. She wants to sing, but her dreams of a different life for herself outside the walls of the hospital leave her distracted. When she meets Mino on the roof of the hospital where both escape to dream of freedom, their lives change forever.This is a fast-paced and well-written historical novel that is steeped in history, but never feels like the author is dumping her research on us at every turn. Instead, she imparts her research when it best serves her story. The two main characters, particularly Violetta, are complex and well-drawn. The author captures the beauty and the dark side of Venice at the pinnacle of its power.If you love historical fiction with a touch of romance thrown in, this book deserves a place near the top of your to-be-read list.Thanks to Putnam and Edelweiss for an eARC.
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  • FTLOReading
    January 1, 1970
    • Title: The Orphan’s Song • Author: Lauren Kate • Series: Stand-Alone • Pages: 336 • Genre: Historical Fiction/ Historical Romance • Rating/ Out of 5 Stars: 3My Thoughts: I really liked Letta as a character. She’s plucky, intuitive and shows some great growth throughout the book. Mino, was hit or miss. He has some great runs and then he takes a step or two back. This gets to be a theme with him. The first few chapters were the strongest. Our introductions to the city, the quality of life, t • Title: The Orphan’s Song • Author: Lauren Kate • Series: Stand-Alone • Pages: 336 • Genre: Historical Fiction/ Historical Romance • Rating/ Out of 5 Stars: 3My Thoughts: I really liked Letta as a character. She’s plucky, intuitive and shows some great growth throughout the book. Mino, was hit or miss. He has some great runs and then he takes a step or two back. This gets to be a theme with him. The first few chapters were the strongest. Our introductions to the city, the quality of life, the characters drew you in and made you want to know more. It was a great look into the lives and opportunities available at the time. Once we started diverting the story into other paths as the characters aged I found myself having trouble staying as involved with their plights as I had been in the beginning. The ending of the book is both a bit messy but nicely wrapped up at the same time. I wish I could like this story to the degree it deserves. It really is well written. The characters are interesting, but it just felt flat to me. I have a feeling this is a title that many people will still enjoy. It just happened to be an “OK” read for me.EARC Kindly provided by NetGalley and publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    The Orphan's Song was a beautiful read. It took me a few chapters to get used to the musical terms and rhythm of the story, but soon I was hooked. We see the story through the eyes of both Mino and Violetta, both orphans at the “Hospital of the Incurables,” where girls are trained up as musicians and boys are sent out into apprenticeships. Time moves quickly in this novel and we aren’t in one place for long, but I still felt that both characters were rich and well developed.This was an interesti The Orphan's Song was a beautiful read. It took me a few chapters to get used to the musical terms and rhythm of the story, but soon I was hooked. We see the story through the eyes of both Mino and Violetta, both orphans at the “Hospital of the Incurables,” where girls are trained up as musicians and boys are sent out into apprenticeships. Time moves quickly in this novel and we aren’t in one place for long, but I still felt that both characters were rich and well developed.This was an interesting time period and place to read about, but there weren’t an abundance of historical details included. The backdrop seemed more like the setting for an epic romance. I am definitely curious about this point in Venice’s history, and I would love to read more set in this time period.Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I love the fact that there is an additional plot line outside of the romance; I felt that neither plot line detracted from the other. I will be checking out some of Lauren Kate’s other books.I received a copy of this book from Putnam Books in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Jordan
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t have much to say it was an interesting storyline but a typical romance. I enjoyed it but as I always do with romances felt the ending was cliche and predictable. Romance lovers will love it, the setting in Venice is pretty A+ material in my opinion though!A historical fiction taking place in Venice in the 1700s. A sweeping love story of music and family. The orphans of the Incurables- the best choir in Venice with strict rules and eligibility. Mino and Violetta share a secret friendship I don’t have much to say it was an interesting storyline but a typical romance. I enjoyed it but as I always do with romances felt the ending was cliche and predictable. Romance lovers will love it, the setting in Venice is pretty A+ material in my opinion though!A historical fiction taking place in Venice in the 1700s. A sweeping love story of music and family. The orphans of the Incurables- the best choir in Venice with strict rules and eligibility. Mino and Violetta share a secret friendship as children and as they grow up there oaths take different turns, as boys orphans leave on scholarships and the girls compete for the coro. But there is a secret that haunts them and a song that draws them back together. Big thanks to @putnambooks via @netgalley for the ARC- this book comes out June 25th
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I felt the beginning of this book was a little slow. There was a time when I almost thought I giving up on it, but I am very happy I ignored that inkling. Letta and Mino are orphans living at the Hospital for the Incurables in Venice. At the Incurables males learn a trade and are sent off into the world, and females are trained in music and perform for the church until they are too old and become nuns. Males and females are not allowed to intermingle, but Letta finds Mino one day at her secret s I felt the beginning of this book was a little slow. There was a time when I almost thought I giving up on it, but I am very happy I ignored that inkling. Letta and Mino are orphans living at the Hospital for the Incurables in Venice. At the Incurables males learn a trade and are sent off into the world, and females are trained in music and perform for the church until they are too old and become nuns. Males and females are not allowed to intermingle, but Letta finds Mino one day at her secret spot she likes to escape to at night. They fall in love, but Letta has been harboring a secret from Mino. Dreams for the futures cause a rift in their relationship, and over time they lose each other, though never forget their true love. A story of love and loss with a few twists and turns.
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  • Katie Hainsworth
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not sure what to say about this book. I didnt not like it, but it didnt really do much for me either. It was well written and the characters are well thought out and likable. Well not Mino, he was just pathetic.These 2 young orphans find each other and fall in love. When it viciously ends, they go their own way. Most of the story is the paths they take afterwards. So while they grow up and their lives move on their love never does.I guess the events that transpire after they part were dull. I'm not sure what to say about this book. I didnt not like it, but it didnt really do much for me either. It was well written and the characters are well thought out and likable. Well not Mino, he was just pathetic.These 2 young orphans find each other and fall in love. When it viciously ends, they go their own way. Most of the story is the paths they take afterwards. So while they grow up and their lives move on their love never does.I guess the events that transpire after they part were dull. Not much happens but the events manage to fill the pages anyway. I'll say that I did get a few good naps in trying to finish.
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  • Susan Peterson
    January 1, 1970
    Prepare to be swept away by this compelling and heartfelt tale of Violetta and Mino, two orphans left behind at the Hospital of the Incurables in Venice in the early 18th century. Their stories are filled with dreams of escape and love, but they are tormented by heartbreak and betrayal. The star of this book is Venice, its music, its secrets, its mystery. I felt as if I were there, wearing my own mask, walking the cobbled streets, winding through the ribbons of canals on a gondola, in its finest Prepare to be swept away by this compelling and heartfelt tale of Violetta and Mino, two orphans left behind at the Hospital of the Incurables in Venice in the early 18th century. Their stories are filled with dreams of escape and love, but they are tormented by heartbreak and betrayal. The star of this book is Venice, its music, its secrets, its mystery. I felt as if I were there, wearing my own mask, walking the cobbled streets, winding through the ribbons of canals on a gondola, in its finest churches, reveling in the music.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    A sweet love story about two orphans- Violetta and Mino- in Venice in the 1700s. Both have musical talent; she's a soprano and he plays the violin and both were abandoned by their mothers. This doesn't go in depth into the politics of Venice during the time period or get too complicated but you will learn something. Kate's a good storyteller; this flows smoothly and the characters come alive on the page. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. This would be perfect for fans of Kate who are moving forwa A sweet love story about two orphans- Violetta and Mino- in Venice in the 1700s. Both have musical talent; she's a soprano and he plays the violin and both were abandoned by their mothers. This doesn't go in depth into the politics of Venice during the time period or get too complicated but you will learn something. Kate's a good storyteller; this flows smoothly and the characters come alive on the page. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. This would be perfect for fans of Kate who are moving forward from her YA books.
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  • Jessica Brito
    January 1, 1970
    Violetta- She is so ahead of her time and forward thinking. I love how rebellious she is and how she does not let her life in the orphanage take away her thirst for life, for “more”. I love Mino’s loyal and devoted spirit. He never gives up on the belief that he will find his mother, loves Violetta for years while believing that he will never be good enough for her, and sticks by his wife until her death. This story has something for everyone; passion, love, heartbreak, murder, and betrayal. The Violetta- She is so ahead of her time and forward thinking. I love how rebellious she is and how she does not let her life in the orphanage take away her thirst for life, for “more”. I love Mino’s loyal and devoted spirit. He never gives up on the belief that he will find his mother, loves Violetta for years while believing that he will never be good enough for her, and sticks by his wife until her death. This story has something for everyone; passion, love, heartbreak, murder, and betrayal. The pacing and timing of the story are excellent and the descriptions of the emotions of the characters are so lifelike. The song woven throughout the story is so well used that you forget that it isn’t a real song, it has such an impact on the story. I love that this story begins in an orphanage with almost an “Annie” type feel but without the rich foster daddy to come along. I have been reading a lot of historical fictions lately and this one is just so beautiful and well written; It truly transports you to a different place and time. Lauren Kate was able to weave such a beautiful and lifelike story, she brought the world of Venice to life and created these characters who grow and change so much throughout the story. This book was beautifully written with grand beautiful descriptions of this world and environment. I would absolutely recommend this book. Of the ARC’s that I have read in the last couple of month’s, this is probably my favorite. I cannot wait to pick up a hard copy of this.
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