“A subtle, entertaining portrait of the relationship–and friction–between age and youth.”



This is the story of an old male widower, Noah Selvaggio, who has no children, having to care of an 11 year old boy. The old man is one of the only remaining relatives in the boys life.

The boys father is dead and his mother is in prison on drug related charges.

The boy will have to go into the foster care system if Noah doesn’t care for him until some other relative is ready to take on the responsibility.

Noah is about to travel to Nice, France, where he was born so Micheal will have to go along with him.

So begins the story. As the two discover each other, Noah begins to find out secrets from his Mothers life during WW2, His search for information, sometimes aided by Michael who sees things in a different way provides the bulk of the story. And let’s face it, we can all imagine what an 11 year old with a man in his 70’s alone and hardly knowing each other can come up with in the problem area.

While, in my opinion not as well done as the last few books by the author, it still holds ones interest and sticking with it provides a generally favorable result in the outcome.

Donoghue is a solid writer and you really can’t go wrong with any of her books.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 8th January 2020

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Richard Franco