I found this book heartbreaking, and at times had to put it aside and find some light relief (thank you YouTube, and the ridiculous mind-numbing uploads that my children find to watch … people cutting the grass; people using typewriters … I ask you!!??).
Angie Winkle receives devastating news that moves her to create her bucket list. In doing so, she realises that she has done absolutely nothing with her life! She’s absolutely cannot think of anything or anyone that is a positive contributing factor to her life. But she makes a pact with herself that from here on out, for however long she has left on this earth, she will make the most of every minute.
But as with so many things that we mere humans plan, the universe has something else in mind. She’s in a busy tube station and notices a small boy become separated from his mother. Immediately she decides that she must do something to return the child to his parent, and here begins Angie’s incredible, unimaginable, moving journey.
Through this little boy, whose name is Danek (Danny), Angie returns to Jaywick Sands which used to be a holiday village in the ’70’s but is now a type of shantytown for displaced Londoners. However, although they may be displaced from the big city and shunned for not fitting in, the people who live in Jaywick Sands are their own close-knit community. They look out for each other, care for each other and are family to each other. So although they may be displaced from the rush and hustle of London, they’ve also chosen to be removed from a place that is cold, unfeeling and uncaring; where you could literally collapse in the street and others will trample over you to make it to their next meeting on time, or get to the coffee shop for that ‘urgent’ cappuccino!
Angie’s longing for a child draws her to Danny and they form an inextricable bond. In so doing, she also becomes part of his mother, Nicoletta’s life as well as the many others who form the threads that bind the Jaywick Sands community together. They’re a cast of quirky characters who are fascinating to read about as they’ve been created with such warmth and love. And for the first time in her life, Angie feels like she has found somewhere she belongs.
This is a story about community. But it’s also a story about how society treats anyone who is different, who doesn’t fit into its neat little box … anyone who is ‘the other’. We judge and we ignore, we’re critical and we’re insensitive. This is a reminder to us all that we can all benefit from a little bit more understanding and a lot less judgement. Beautifully written (although parts just shattered me!), this will capture your heart (be warned it will break it into pieces too) and you will still be thinking about it for quite a while after you’ve finished reading it!
5 stars for a really beautiful debut novel, written with honesty and finesse. Thank you to RaRa Resources for inviting me on this blog tour. Take a look at what other book bloggers are saying about The Borrowed Boy …
Amazon.com – https://amzn.to/2CZIEAz
Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2CZJ6yL
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Deborah has worked as an occupational therapist, a health service manager, a freelance journalist, and management consultant in health and social care.
Her protagonists are often people who exist on the edges of society. Despite the very real, but dark, subject matter her stories are uplifting, combining pathos with humour. They are about self-discovery and the power of friendships and community.
The Borrowed Boy, her debut, was shortlisted for the Deviant Minds Award 2019. Just Bea, her second novel will be published in 2021.
Deborah lives on the Essex coast. When she is not writing she combines her love of baking with trying to burn off the extra calories.
Social Media Links – http://abrakdeborah.wordpress.com
Instagram: Deborah Klee Author