A Novel

Book - 2019
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Noah is only days away from his first trip back to Nice since he was a child when a social worker calls looking for a temporary home for Michael, his eleven-year-old great-nephew. Though he has never met the boy, he gets talked into taking him along to France. This odd couple, suffering from jet lag and culture shock, argue about everything from steak haché to screen time, and the trip is looking like a disaster. But as Michael's ease with tech and sharp eye help Noah unearth troubling details about their family's past, both of them come to grasp the risks that people in all eras have run for their loved ones, and find they are more akin than they knew.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2019
Edition: 1st Canadian ed
Branch Call Number: FICTION DON
Characteristics: 339 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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Oct 21, 2019

soon to be octogenarian trying to understand his past and an eleven year old with a most uncertain future end up traveling together based on a tenuous family link. somewhat predictable that a bond will develop? yes, but donoghue has such an easy flow to her writing. one day I'll break down and tackle 'room.'

DCLadults Oct 10, 2019

A New & Noteworthy pick. Noah, a newly retired professor, and his young great-nephew are unexpectedly thrown together on a trip to the French Riviera. The old man and the boy will discover troubling details of Noah’s mother’s past in Nazi-occupied France as they unravel a family mystery.

ArapahoeAnnaL Oct 01, 2019

Sentence by lovely sentence Donoghue brings the two main characters to life: an elderly retired professor and a bright rambunctious preteen, Michael, from a poor family whose mother is in prison for selling drugs. The characters are so vivid, compelling, and somehow familiar. It's a pleasure to watch as this mismatched pair go back and forth, struggling with each other and supporting each other. There are also two mysteries: what role did the professor’s mother play in WWII France, collaborator or resister. And what is the truth about the crime for which Michael’s mother has gone to prison. The professor muses about our responsibilities to each other and of one generation to the next. The ending of this gorgeous book brought me to tears.

Sep 28, 2019

An engaging book, though not as stunning as “Room”. Recommended.

Aug 29, 2019

An almost 80-year-old man makes the trip of a lifetime to Nice, France, with an 11-year-old boy. Noah is a retired professor and the boy (Michael) is his great-nephew and desperately in need of a home while his mother is in prison. In addition to the great conversations they have attempting to bridge the conversation gap, there is a mystery involving a set of snapshots that were taken by Noah's mother during WW II. Noah and Michael have an unusual chemistry together and I loved following about their adventures in Nice. I couldn't help but think of Mr. Bean's Holiday!

debwalker Aug 27, 2019

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 - Goodreads. Seems like everyone who went through WW2 had plenty of secrets.


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ArapahoeAnnaL Oct 01, 2019

Weren't all of us bridges for each other, one way or another? Just a few years, fingers crossed, till Amber got out of prison. It wasn't a matter of Noah planting any olive trees, at this point, just watering one sapling, attempting to shield it from hard winds.

And then it struck him that it was really the other way around. This boy was saving Noah. rescuing him from the trap of habit, the bleak tedium of counting down the years of his retirement. Michael was the little ark, crazily bobbing, in which one lucky old man could go voyaging.

"Did it exist a hundred years ago?" "Maybe," the boy said, pressing buttons.

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