Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Borrowed Boy by Deborah Klée.
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.
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 shantytown of displaced Londoners, this is a story about hidden communities and our need to belong.
It’s a nightmare scenario – a small child being accidentally separated from a parent in the underground or tube. Child on the train, parent on the platform watching helplessly as said child disappears. If you’re lucky your child will also stumble upon someone like Angie, who only has good intentions. At least she starts off with good ones. Bringing Danny back to his mother soon morphs into let’s keep him for a while and replicate my great childhood memories with him.
Certain things made me wonder about Nikoleta’s actions at the very beginning. No matter what she says or how the storyteller interprets her actions, there seems to be an element of subconscious warning going on under the surface. Does her physical reaction betray her subconscious thoughts? Does she know there is more to the story?
Angie takes the borrowed boy on a trip that changes both of their lives. She finds herself caring for the poor boy, whilst Danny is glad to be with someone who really cares about him.
Although it starts out with the vibe of a psychological thriller set in a modern urban crime scenario, it eventually takes on more of a Women’s Fiction feel. Being faced with death makes Angie reflect on the past and how her past has determined much of her future. A life she feels hasn’t been lived to the fullest. Missed experiences and deep regrets. Her time with Danny has opened her eyes to the most painful memories and why she feels so lonely.
I enjoyed the read, however at times I did feel as if it were two reads in one. The more brutal storyline that could have wandered into a vicious despicable crime scenario, and the story of Angie discovering a life worth living for. Klée is clearly capable of delivering both.
Buy The Borrowed Boy at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Sherman House; pub date 1 Aug. 2020. Buy the eBook from Apple, Barnes & Noble, Angus & Robertson, 24 Symbols. Buy at Amazon com.