The Foundling Boy, By Michel Déon
The Foundling Boy
The French writer Michel Déon is a storyteller par excellence, and if The Foundling Boy is your first encounter with him, you couldn’t have a better introduction. A baby boy is found one night in 1919, wrapped in a shawl, at the door of the gate lodge of a Norman chateau. Albert and Jeanne Arnaud, caretakers of the chateau, childless and middle-aged, raise the baby as their own. There follows a spellbinding tale of the boy growing up, finding his passion for sport, falling in and out of love and becoming a man of charm and integrity. A strong seam of humour runs through the book, along with a cast of characters who embody some of the best and most capricious aspects of human nature. Wonderful descriptions of interwar travel pepper the story, whether it’s chateau owner Antoin du Coureseau whizzing through France in a string of fast cars or Jean cycling through Italy with a young German fellow traveller. You won’t want to put this book down.