A retired New York professor's life is thrown into chaos when he takes a young great-nephew to the French Riviera, in hopes of uncovering his own mother's wartime secrets in the new masterpiece from bestselling author Emma Donoghue
Noah Selvaggio is a retired chemistry professor and widower living on the Upper West Side, but born in the South of France. He is days away from his long-awaited first trip back to Nice, but he receives a call from social services: Noah is the closest available relative of his eleven-year-old great-nephew and he urgently needs someone to take him in.
Plagued by guilt and a feeling of duty to his dead sister, Noah agrees to foster the kid 'just for couple of weeks' and takes him along on his visit to Nice. This unlikely duo, both feeling adrift in their lives and suffering from culture shock, argue about everything from steak frites to Snapchat.
Noah is disappointed by how much Nice has changed since he left. When sharp-eyed Michael identifies the historic Hotel Excelsior in one of Noah's photographs, they decide to check in - but once inside their luxury suite, Noah's perception of his ancestral heritage starts to crack.
Shocking stories of the Nazi occupation surface: a hotel re-purposed for torture, a secret resistance movement, and Noah's mysterious mother on the front lines of history. As dark truths about this famous tourist mecca come to light, Noah learns to appreciate Michael's street-smart wit and ease with technology. He finally grasps the great risks people in all ages have taken for their kin.
Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue migrates between genres, writing literary history, biography, stage and radio plays as well as fairy tales and short stories. She is best known for her novels, which range from the historical (Frog Music, Slammerkin, Life Mask, Landing, The Sealed Letter and The Wonder) to the contemporary (Stir-Fry, Hood, Landing). Her international bestseller Room was a New York Times Best Book of 2010 and was a finalist for the Man Booker, Commonwealth, and Orange Prizes.
A poignant and hopeful tale Woman Magazine Heartwarming and humourous. Radio Times A delicate and moving reminder of the way in which our human stories are made from practical choices - often in life as well as in literature. Harper's Bazaar Sweet, tender and defiantly unsentimental, this is a sad, funny look at how flawed, fragile people develop a sense of belonging. Psychologies Absorbing. I loved the growing relationship between the two. -- Nina Pottell Prima A highly enjoyable novel' Daily Mail Poignant and hopeful, the bestselling novelist of Room has delivered another exquisite portrayal of an adult and child making their way in the world. Woman & Home An important, touching novel that stays with you long after you're done reading it. Independent Akin offers a subtle, entertaining portrait of the relationship-and friction-between age and youth. The Economist Highly emotional but never sentimental. Vogue Donoghue mines material that on the face of it appears intractably bleak and surfaces with a powerful, compulsively readable work of fiction Irish Times Absorbing, truthful and beautiful . . . it is a kind of sustained poem in praise of motherhood and parental love Observer Sophisticated in outlook and execution . . . Utterly plausible, vividly described New York Times One of the most profoundly affecting books I've read in a long time -- John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Praise for Room: Emma Donoghue's writing is superb alchemy, changing innocence into horror and horror into tenderness -- Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife
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