The Foundling, By Agnès Desarthe


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The Independent Culture

Desarthe's eighth novel for adults and her third to appear in English is set in a remote corner of rural Franche-Comté.

Jerome, a divorced estate agent, is thrown into crisis after his teenage daughter loses her handsome boyfriend in a freak motorcycle accident.

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Preparing for the funeral, he reflects on the mystery of his own feral childhood and his adoption by Jewish foster-parents.

Desarthe charms with her delicate dissection of the human heart and draws us in with an intriguing tale about France's wartime past. Adriana Hunter's translation is near pitch-perfect.