Akin by Emma Donoghue

1. First lines. 2. Published 2019 Little, Brown and Company UK; Pan Macmillan Australia. 3. Hotel Excelsior, Nice, France. By Perline [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia 4. Children’s and Adult’s Cabin Luggage Stock Photo. By Holiday Gems UK. [CC BY 2.0] via flickr 5. Beach of Nice, France. By narje. [Public Domain] via Wikimedia
A nice story.

Noah Selvaggio is a retired Chemistry professor living in New York. Just before he is due to travel to Nice in France to research his mother’s World War 2 story, social services contact him. His eleven-year-old great-nephew Michael, who he’s never met, needs a caregiver temporarily. The two travel together to France, and the story traces their developing relationship as they discover more about Noah’s mother’s role in World War 2.

“So many ways Noah couldn’t protect this boy; it was like traveling with a bag of bananas he had little chance of delivering unbruised………”

“Being alone, his normal condition for the past decade, was forbidden to Noah this week.” 

“We spend most of our lives holding on to objects, he thought, and finally they fall from our cold dead hands and those who tidy up after us have to worry of what to do with all this stuff.”

~Quotes from the book “Akin” by Emma Donoghue
  • Independent: “Donoghue delivers a profound reflection on family secrets and the way they shape our current identities. Her profoundly human portrayal of Michael elicits a crucial form of empathy for the lives disrupted by the opioid crisis and raises questions on its impact on generations to come. All this makes Akin an important, touching novel that stays with you long after you’re done reading it.”
  • Kirkus: “Not as ambitious or challenging as Donoghue in absolute top form (say, Room), but readable, well crafted, and absorbing.”

This edition: Harper Collins Canada.

Author website: Emma Donoghue

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