Welcome to the final day of the blog tour for The Borrowed Boy by Deborah Klée. Do check out the posts of my tour buddies for today, Els at B For Bookreview and Fee at Ebook Addicts. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the tour and for my digital review copy.
About the Book
A borrowed boy, a borrowed name and living on borrowed time.
What do you put on a bucket list when you haven’t done anything with your life? No interesting job, no lovers, no family, no friends. Believing she has only weeks left to live, Angie Winkle vows to make the most of every minute.
Going back to Jaywick Sands, is top of her bucket list. Experiencing life as a grandmother is not, but the universe has other plans and when four-year-old Danny is separated from his mum on the tube, Angie goes to his rescue. She tries to return him to his mum but things do not go exactly as planned and the two of them embark on a life-changing journey.
Set in Jaywick Sands, once an idyllic Essex holiday village in the 70s, but now a shanty town of displaced Londoners, this is a story about hidden communities and our need to belong.
Format: ebook (319 pages) Publisher:
Publication date: 1st August 2020 Genre: Contemporary fiction
Find The Borrowed Boy on Goodreads
The Borrowed Boy alternates between the stories of two women whose paths cross by chance because of one small Polish boy, four year old Danek.
Angie Winkle dreams of nothing more than making what she fears may be her final visit to the seaside town of Jaywick Sands. It holds happy childhood memories of staying in the chalet of her best friend’s grandparents. Angie recalls a time of simple pleasures: building sandcastles, picnics on the beach, ice cream and toffee apples.
When the chance arises to share the experience with Danek (or Danny, as she calls him) she convinces herself it is a gift of fate. “There was no such thing as coincidence. The universe had heard her heartfelt plea and given her this chance.” She eagerly grasps the opportunity to taste the life she might have had if she’d become a mother or grandmother. It’s fair to say she’s a natural at it and the relationship that develops between Danny and Angie is heartfelt and touching. It gives Angie a chance to erase dark moments in her life and to distract her from what she fears lies ahead.
Nikoleta’s dream is of a new life in London with boyfriend Kamil and young Danek. But that dream has rapidly turned into a nightmare. She finds Kamil’s refusal to involve the police in the search for Danek and instead use his own network of contacts both frustrating and perplexing. Her trusting nature and naivety makes her ignore the many warning signs that everything is not what it seems.
Initially, Angie is disappointed to find Jaywick Sands rather faded and rundown, not the lovely place she remembers. However, as she and Danny discover, the residents of Jaywick Sands are much more community minded and welcoming than they at first appear. That’s just as well when the story moves in an entirely different and unexpected direction. As certain individuals will find out, “Outsiders didn’t stand a chance when Jaywick came together to protect their own.”
The Borrowed Boy is a touching story about facing up to the future and finding friendship where you least expect it. “Sometimes when you think that you are at the end of a road and have no place to go, a new way opens up to you.”
In three words: Touching, emotional, engaging
Try something similar: Train Man by Andrew Mulligan
About the Author
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.