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, and make him part of their family. And his story might have ended there had it not been for the persistent 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.
Editor's Choice ReviewBy Chris Schoebinger, National Publishing Director at Shadow Mountain
Truth is stranger than fiction. In the case of the new novel The Orphan Keeper, this is absolutely true. And, yet, this amazing work of fiction is based on a remarkable, true story.
Last month, Shadow Mountain sent a camera crew to southern India with author Camron Wright to visit Taj and his family in their second home. KSL television will be running a special documentary about Taj Rowland between sessions of the 2016 October General Conference. In addition, the January 2017 issue of LDS Living Magazine will feature a behind-the-scenes story about Taj and his remarkable journey. In the meantime, I highly recommend that you read The Orphan Keeper. Although the book doesn’t mention this, there is a Latter-day Saint connection as Taj was adopted by a Mormon family in Utah and later served a two-year mission in London.
Some early readers have asked why this true story is called a novel instead of a memoir. While Taj’s story is based on real events, some details were fictionalized to “fill in the gaps.” For example, part of the story is told from Taj’s birth mother’s point-of-view soon after Taj was kidnapped. We don’t know exactly what happened to Taj’s birth mother during that time period or all the things she did in her attempt to find her son, so the author proposed a possible scenario. Even Taj’s memory as a young boy is incomplete. However, much of what is written is not only true but is also an inspiring, gripping, unforgettable account that makes The Orphan Keeper my favorite book for 2016. And the actual photographs and documents at the end of the book truly bring the story to life.
To learn more about Taj’s remarkable story, I invite you to visit TheOrphanKeeper.com.
|Size||6 x 9|
|Book on CD||Unabridged, 9 discs|
|Performed by||Simon Vance|
|Published||Shadow Mountain 2016|
|Audiobook Narrator||Simon Vance|
I truly enjoyed the journey this book brought me on. Very well written!
I loved everything about this book.Especially the never in a lifetime type of coincidences that we members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints often hear about in spiritual talks about the influences of God in people's lives.
I’m young but this book was an amazing. It was spiritual, exiting, and makes you realize how lucky you are to live like how you are. I really recommend listening or reading this book. 👍👍👍😄
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was captivated by the beautiful writing by the author! Taj's story is absolutely incredible and touch my heart. I would definitely recommend this book!
I loved the journey that I was able to go along with the wonderful voices and interpretations of the book through the spoken word! I thoroughly enjoyed the book and loved how the story unfolded. I think listening to it brought it to an even higher level. Such a fantastic book!
I liked it, but it had quite a bit of swearing in it.
I have to say i thought this book might be good, but I wasn't prepared for how GOOD it was. The writing was outstanding, the story was breathtaking and it left me wanting more - which is always a good thing. I read multiple books each month and this is easily up at the top for me. It helped that I knew someone in the book quite well, so that made it all the more personal :-)
I absolutely loved "The Rent Collector", and when I learned of "The Orphan Keeper" by the same author -- Camron Wright -- I could hardly wait to buy the ebook. Both books were stunningly fascinating, kept my attention so that I couldn't put it down. I had to keep reading until they were finished! I feel it a great privilege to read these books, and to finally be able to comment on them. It is my sincere hope that Camron Wright will keep writing! I love his books!!! :)
I loved this book so much that I ended up reading it and listening to the audio version of it as well! It has been a very long time since I have read a story that was so well written. I felt like each time I picked up the book I was taken with Taj on his journey. I could imagine every detail so well! I could almost smell the smells and taste the food and touch the walls and hear the voices of those conversing with him and feel the emotions he was feeling! It was beautifully written! I could not put this book down! Unlike most books that have a few chapters here and there where you lose a bit of interest and then it picks up a bit, Every single chapter was captivating! I spent my days anxious to get home at night and continue to read this wonderful book!
I thought this book would be a tear-jerker, especially because I am a mother and I can only imagine what Taj and his family went through, but it was not. Although I do admit I did cry once during the book, it is not the kind of book that you bawl the whole time you are reading. To that I was grateful!
I loved going with Taj on his journey of self-discovery, which is one we all faced, kidnapped or not. And the messages about family throughout the book were very powerful!
The audio version of this book is also well done! The reader uses different accents and voices for each character. It was easy to get sucked into the story! I loved listening to the audio version as I cleaned, cooked, drove etc. it was very well done! If I had to choose between the audio and the hardcover I would choose the hardcover. There is just something about reading it yourself that is magical, but both are very well done!
This book is perfect for adults and young adults. I read another review complaining about the foul language. It is true it has a handled of bad words, but it is not full of swearing like they would have you believe. Maybe five or six times in the whole book, and it is usually the word heck and a less frequent dang it. It was overall a very clean book. You see much more foul language in the "classics" that you are forced to read in high school.
I would recommend the hardcover and the audio version to everyone! This is a book that has been added to my home library and will be read over and over!
Excellent reminder of what goes on everyday around us and not being aware. We are all truly orphans and Taj's experience brings to light the need for all of us, especially myself to be kind always. For someone that knows Taj, I didnt know what he had gone through in his life. All I knew was a great smile and a caring friend. I'm so glad he decided to share a painful yet positive story because it makes me want to know others better and what struggles have occurred in their lives.
I absolutely loved 'The Orphan Keeper!' Camron Wright tells a vivid and intriguing story that I just couldn't put down! I not only enjoyed the story, but I also felt as though I was enriched because of it. This book is such a great reminder that knowing who we are and how we define ourselves is more valuable than any riches the world can provide. As Taj searches for not only his family, but also himself, I found myself asking many of the questions he did. Following Taj's path towards self discovery led me to be reminded of my own. The writing is incredible and really transports you to India. I would suggest this book to anyone, and feel as though it will become a classic.
It's not often I rate a book 5 stars. But this is one that I feels really deserves it. I listened to the audio book on Bookshelf and loved the narrator as well.
This touching story of a little boy taken from his family in India and eventually adopted by a family in the United States is sweet, sad, intriguing, and adventurous.
I particularly enjoyed the authors writing style. He had a way of describing surroundings and feelings that brought you right in to the story.
If you ask me what my favorite book is, chances are, if I name just one, it's going to be The Rent Collector by Camron Wright. That book affected me in so many ways and it's just all around an amazing story written amazingly. So I was really excited to be able to read this new one by Camron Wright. And I love this one just as much as The Rent Collector.
This is one of those books that if you didn't know it's based on a true story, you would say there's just no way this stuff could have happened. I thought that Chellamuthu's life when he lived in India was crazy. He's a 7 year old boy living in India with his family. Many times he didn't have enough food to eat and there are plenty of boys out there that had it even worse than he did. And in the story, those boys are the ones that cause trouble in his life. I can't even imagine being kidnapped and removed from my family at the tender age of 7 years old. The grief that Chellamuthu must have felt must have been immense, and as a parent the grief that his parents felt seems incomprehensible to me.
I love the way this book is written from the point of view of this boy. I loved reading his story and trying to understand just how things would have been for him. I loved "travelling" from my nice home to the crazy land of India where there's tons of humanity, much of it starving in this book. I love the dedication, it's dedicated to "The lost child in all of us, searching for home." That sentence just makes me think. But my favorite part has to be the ending, learning just where this young boy ended up and how he works to help not only his family, but many other families just like his in India.
This book touched me, as I finished reading the final chapter, I found myself crying. Such a sweet ending. Such an amazing story and hopefully I learned something from it that I can remember in my own life.
I loved this book and the audio version was fantastic! The descriptive writing and story were wonderful! I recommend it to everyone! My only complaint is that the Deseret Bookshelf audio app was very glitchy and wouldn't play certain chapters until I deleted the book and re-downloaded. I had to do that 4 times to get through the whole thing! I will not be using the Deseret Book listening app again!
This was a magical book. A beautiful portrait of life for a young boy/man as he is taken from his home in India and adopted into a family in the United States under the false pretense that he was an orphan.
His awareness, his struggles, his coming to terms with life as he remembers, as he has buried his past, along with his journey to find his family was so beautifully told. I loved the magical moment when he tasted the Indian meal in England, and was drawn back to his past. Also the gradual remembering, the gradual find of his family. His story of how he and he wife met, their marriage, and the way that his wife and good friend Kelly help him come to terms with his struggle to find his 'home' and 'family' was so skillfully woven together. The gradual meld of his two worlds. Very beautifully written. I felt immersed in the Indian culture in the parts of the novel where he was in India. His struggle to figure out his identity was masterfully portrayed. His angst, his worries, his hopes and dreams were laid out for us to see his heart and mind as he came to terms with his past, present and future.
Thank you to CW for a wonderful magical story from bits of a real one.
I received an ARC in from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I hate to admit it, but I do not like A LOT of extra description in books that I read and or listen to. I want to get to the story. I read and listen to A LOT of books. I wanted to write a review because this is the first book that I was hungry for the description that the author was going to give. He is masterful at his description. I loved the story, loved the book and want to share it with everyone. I also want to learn more about the Raj Rowland to see what is going on in his life now.
A DEFINITE READ!
This book was wonderful. The full circle of this young boy's life was so well written. Thank you for sharing your life with us.
First, the story. The most powerful aspect of the story is honestly that it is true. The first part of Orphan Keeper is enthralling, depicting Chellamuthu's life and kidnapping in India. For me, this was the most interesting and engaging part of the book. A little bit of the momentum was lost towards the middle though the ethical tension of the story was palpable. The middle section was quite a bit slower and not quite as engaging but the pace picked up for the incredible finish. The ending would have felt contrived and unbelievable had it not been based on a true story. As it was it was a satisfying finish.
The style fit the theme, it was poetic and colorful. The descriptions and structure--particularly while still in India--were mesmerizing.
Overall, a beautiful story. For me, the opening was the most captivating aspect but it was an engaging and elegantly told story.
I loved listening to this beautiful story about a young boy taken from his family. He was given an opportunity to live with a family in the United States. It's amazing how you can live in another part of the world and be given the opportunity to return to your family. This young boy grew up and became a man in search of his family. Miracles can come true when you never give up on your dream to find the truth and prayers are answered. Each of us become Orphans as we lose family members. I look forward to seeing my parents and relatives again when we are all reunited together as families.
I loved this book, what an amazing story.