The Foundling Boy by Michél Déon (translated by Julian Evans) and brought to the English language by Gallic Books, is one of my recent reads and star of this weeks bookworm Wednesday. It is set in France, in the years between the wars and has a really engaging storyline. In the summer of 1919 a newborn baby is left in a basket outside the home of a childless couple in Normandy. They take him in, call him Jean and raise him as their own in their simple but honest ways. The Foundling Boy is the story of Jean’s life, that is both ordinary and fascinating, up to the outbreak of the Second World War.
There is a great cast of very different characters whose lives are intricately linked, lots of secrets and a story that twists, moves and turns in circles as lives are lived in Normandy, the South of France and London. I had my suspicions about Jean’s birth mother from the start, but the more the story moved the less important her identity seemed. A few times we seem to get close to knowing, then off we go again in another direction satisfying Jean’s thirst for adventure, so that finding out the truth doesn’t seem to be as important as it was at the beginning.
This book is different to what I usually read, but I really enjoyed it, especially the passages where the author breaks off the narration to talk directly to the reader. This was different, amusing and perfect for filling in information and adding a bit extra to the extra-ordinary story of Jean’s life. It is a bigger than average paperback book but I got to the end and desperately wanted to continue reading the next part of Jean’s life.
This book was sent to my by Gallic Books to read and review and is available in paperback and ebook format. Links to Amazon can be found below.