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The Foundling Boy

by Michel Déon

Teetering on the brink of the outbreak of World War 2, Jean Arnaud comes of age. He encounters a host of supporting characters; each helping shape the man he is to become. A quirky tale in which the author teasingly whetted my appetite and made me sit up and ask: What happens next? But don't expect every question to be answered!

Extract

By not continuing the tradition of gardeners in the family, Jean was sowing disorder. But he also conceded that a mystery hung over his birth, and that such a child could thus not be tied down to the Arnaud's profession from father to son. He had to be given a chance to decide his own destiny, and his seriousness and application consoled Albert.
Translated by Julian Evans

Parallels

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Confidant by Helene Gremillon
 

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