Orphan’s Bond introduces thirteen-year-old John Robert O’Neill, a precocious young man with an old soul. Robbie, the younger of two brothers, delights in his special relationship with his grandfather, for whom he is named. Henry, seven years older than Robbie, is completely opposite in demeanor and manner from his younger brother.
The tension between Robbie and Henry is palpable when they first encounter each other in the hospital, where they await news of their grandfather’s stroke. The untimely stroke and resulting loss of speech occur the night before Robbie was to learn of a secret Grandpa had never shared with anyone in the family.
It is that secret which leads to Robbie’s encounter with Josef DeKlerk, an art dealer from the Netherlands. DeKlerk is supposedly in search of Grandpa for the purpose of reuniting him with art stolen from his family during the war. DeKlerk’s apparent selflessness is nothing more than a scam to conceal his nefarious motives.
Grandpa’s struggle to communicate since the stroke, coupled with the guilt he carries related to his past, places Robbie in the difficult and at times dangerous position of unravelling the family mystery.
Robbie soon learns he is not alone. His occasionally nagging, but genuinely loyal friend, Zach, provides just the kind of support Robbie snubs, and then realizes he cannot do without. Together, Robbie and Zach discover others from Grandpa’s past. They encounter Rebecca, who reveals Grandpa’s connection to her grandfather. With Rebecca to help navigate the complex family history, stories of loss and abandonment come to light.
In the end, Grandpa forgives himself and others. Robbie discovers a brother he never quite knew before. That which is genuinely to be treasured is revealed, not in its price, but its unbreakable bond.
Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 10.00 out of 10
Plot: The storyline here is distinctive and strong. There's a perfect blend of mystery peppered with sibling rivalry, wrapped up in teenage angst. This will also appeal to an adult crossover audience.
Prose/Style: The author is a talented writer who is able to craft a fascinating story with realistic characters. The first-person narrative is effective and helps the story flow effortlessly.
Originality: This is a highly original work with distinctive characters and a unique premise.
Character Development/Execution: The characterization here is extremely strong, particularly for brothers Robbie and Henry individually and collectively as their relationship grows.
Blurb: Mysterious and fun, this story will undoubtedly captivate readers and keep them hooked until the final secret is revealed.
Date Submitted: June 08, 2021