Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Coming December from Gallic Books
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy.
It is 1919. On a summer’s night in Normandy, a newborn baby is left in a basket outside the home of Albert and Jeanne Arnaud. The childless couple take the foundling in, name him Jean, and decide to raise him as their own, though his parentage remains a mystery.
Though Jean’s life is never dull, he grows up knowing little of what lies beyond his local area. Until the day he sets off on his bicycle to discover the world, and encounters a Europe on the threshold of interesting times .
I adored this novel. Evocative and compelling we follow Jean on a journey through life and through a very specific time in History, I was completely and utterly fascinated during the entirety of the reading experience. I have read a lot of novels set around each of the World Wars but I think this is the first for me set in a world holding its breath…and that is kind of the feeling I got throughout this story.
Jean sets off on his bicycle…what he will find we cannot imagine, and he is a perfect host on a journey of discovery. At turns irresistable, passionate, moving and eloquent you will soon find yourself lost in the pages. I say no more – if you love Historical stories you will adore this. Even if it is not your normal choice I would still recommend you give this one a try. It has a very particular feel about it and may surprise you. The sense of place is just amazing and the desriptive prose is beautiful. A character with true heart and a peek at a world now behind us makes this a heartfelt read.
When I was done I was inspired to look up some information about the author, and was surprised to find, considering the quality, that much of his work remains unavailable in English. Michel Déon is a member of the Académie française. Born in Paris in 1919, he is the author of more than fifty works. I’m kind of envious, and wish I spoke a few more languages! Hopefully Gallic will sort that out – I would love to read more from this author.
And a final nod to translator Julian Evans – thank you Mr Evans.
Happy Reading Folks!