This modern-day novel is set against the backdrop of events that took place during World War II.
Noah Selvaggio is a retired chemistry professor and widower living in New York City, but born in the South of France. He is planning his first visit back to Nice since he was a child, bringing with him a handful of puzzling photos he discovered from his mother’s wartime years. Just days away from leaving for France, he receives a call from social services and learns that he is the closest relative of an eleven-year-old great-nephew he’s never met. The young boy urgently needs someone to look after him. Noah reluctantly agrees to take Michael along on his trip.
Much has changed in Nice, but the seaside city is still haunted by memories of the Nazi occupation. Noah and his charge, Michael, are an unlikely duo. Suffering from jet lag and culture shock, they argue about everything from steak frites to screen time. The dialogue between these two is truly brilliant as Donoghue deftly weaves in the generational gap in language use. Noah gradually comes to appreciate the boy’s dry wit. Michael is tech-savvy and street-wise. His sharp eye becomes invaluable to Noah as together they unravel the troubling details about their family’s past. Over time, they find that they are more akin than they knew.
“Akin” is available at the Huron County Library in book form and on cloudLibrary.