Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski

cover of little boy lost by marghanita laskiMarghanita Laski’s Little Boy Lost is riveting reading. Reprinted by Persephone Books, it is one of those slim, perfect novels that would be a perfect book group discovery.

In Little Boy Lost, Hilary Wainwright is a poet and intellectual, a man who now lives a life lacking in emotional attachment after his wife was killed by the Gestapo and his son lost in France during WWII. Then, on Christmas Day after the war has ended, a man appears at his doorstep and tells him that he thinks he has found his son. The boy is now 5, and Hilary, who has not seen the boy since he was a newborn, follows the man to France to an orphanage where he must decide if the boy is really his.

There he finds a vulnerable, malnourished child desperate to be loved. He comes face to face with his own emotional damage and the enormity of the decision he has to make.

Laski tells this story with “calm detached amusement” and presents a character that she isn’t afraid to show for his complexity and his faults. When reading this book, I felt a mix of emotions about its main character: I felt angry and frustrated and maternal, I felt impatient and hopeful and ultimately unsure.

This is surprisingly edge-of-your-seat reading. What will Hilary, a man who is afraid and refuses to love again, do? What if he takes the wrong child? What if he decides to leave the boy behind and he is his true son?

He has one week to decide.

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About the Author:

Misha Stone is a readers' advisory librarian with The Seattle Public Library. Follow her on Twitter at @ahsimlibrarian.

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