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In her first contemporary novel since Room, bestselling author Emma Donoghue returns with her next masterpiece, a brilliant tale of love, loss and family. A retired New York professor's life is thrown into chaos when he takes his great-nephew to the French Riviera, in hopes of uncovering his own mother's wartime secrets.

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.

Written with all the tenderness and psychological intensity that made Room a huge bestseller, Akin is a funny, heart-wrenching tale of an old man and a boy who unpick their painful story and start to write a new one together.

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Booklist Review
On the cusp of his eightieth birthday, widowed and retired professor Noah Selvaggio is preparing to visit his native Nice. Thinly disguised as a vacation, the trip is actually an opportunity for Noah to explore his roots. He wants to learn more about his mother: what role did she have in the Marcel network that rescued more than 500 children from the Nazis before leaving France for America? On the eve of his departure, however, Noah is saddled with a new responsibility, the care of his grand-nephew, 12-year-old Michael, whose father is dead and whose mother is serving time in prison. Understandably, Michael complicates Noah's mission. Setting the story against the compelling backdrop of the annual Carnaval de Nice, Donoghue (The Wonder, 2016) shines in her careful study of this slice of WWII history in France. As engaging and pleasing as this tale is, the two time frames don't quite cohere, and initially, Noah's relationship with Michael feels stilted; yet there is keen humor in how nearly all the boy does is crave Coca-Cola, curse, or convey assent by saying, kay. Donoghue builds unabashedly to a heartwarming conclusion.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Internationally best-selling Donoghue will draw her steadfast readership, while fans of WWII fiction will also seek out this well-publicized novel.--Poornima Apte Copyright 2019 Booklist
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