Our Orbit



As a series of misfortunes scatters the Winslow children to different homes, nine-year-old Miriam finds herself in foster care. A college-educated couple, Rick and Deanne Fletcher, are happy to welcome her. But Miriam has never worn new clothes, was not permitted to cut her hair, and believes that children must repent their sins with dramatic displays of remorse, or harm will come to their loved ones. Now she must adapt to a secular lifestyle while struggling not to lose her connection to the past. The Fletchers quickly come to love their “new little girl” with her cheerful energy and unusual ideas. Then they encounter the rest of Miriam’s family: Uncle Dan believes he was the subject of an invasive experiment. Sister Rachelle, just released from juvenile detention, harbors many painful secrets. Brother Josh is outraged that the Fletchers disrespect Christian teachings. When his plan to remove Miriam from their home fails, Josh reacts with growing hostility to interference in the Winslow way of life.

Richly detailed with small-town ethos, Anesa Miller's new novel, “Our Orbit”, captures the tension between modernity and tradition in the Appalachian corner of bellwether Ohio. Among the conflicts of her finely drawn and compelling characters, we glimpse the spirit that binds us in our common humanity—all of this in a literary novel that reads at the pace of a thriller.  (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)


This book was not quite what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it!  The characters were interesting; each had their strengths and weaknesses.  Though I preferred reading through Miriam’s perspective the most, the multiple of points of view gave variety in a story that otherwise could have felt slightly slow.  Miller discusses many controversial topics including poverty, foster care, sexuality, abortion and religion, but does a very good job showing different perspectives rather than forcing an agenda.  If I have any complaint, it’s that I typically prefer stories with a conclusive ending.  In this book, there was no definitive “The End”, but rather we are left with an ambiguous “What’s next?” that somehow is fitting to the story.

Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of Sage’s Blog Tours.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it?  Fans of books that are reflective to true life and won’t mind an ambiguous ending.