In her first contemporary novel since Room, bestselling author Emma Donoghue returns with a brilliant tale of love, loss and family. The life of a retired New York professor is thrown into chaos when he takes his great-nephew to the French Riviera in the hopes of uncovering his own mother’s wartime secrets.
Noah is only days away from his first trip back to Nice since he was a child when he receives an unexpected request. A social worker is looking for a temporary home for Michael, his eleven-year-old great-nephew. Although he has never met the boy, Noah is convinced to take Michael with him to France.
Suffering from jet lag and culture shock, the odd couple argue about everything from steak haché to screen time, and the trip shows every sign of being a disaster. But Michael’s skill with tech and his sharp eye help Noah unearth troubling details about their family’s past. Eventually they both come to understand that people of all eras run risks on behalf of their loved ones. In learning this they discover that they are more akin than they knew.
Written with all the tenderness and psychological intensity that made Room a huge bestseller, Akin is a funny, heart-wrenching tale of an old man and a boy who unpick the threads of their painful stories and start to write a new one together.
About the author
EMMA DONOGHUE was born in Dublin and lived in England for many years before moving to Canada. She writes in many genres, including theatre, radio drama and literary history, but is best known for her fiction, both historical (Slammerkin, The Sealed Letter, Astray, Frog Music) and contemporary (Stir-Fry, Hood, Landing, Touchy Subjects). Her seventh novel, Room, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Canada and the Caribbean region) and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes. It sold more than two million copies. Donoghue scripted the film adaptation, a Canadian-Irish film by Lenny Abrahamson starring Brie Larson, which was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. And her most recent novel, The Wonder, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2016.
- Unknown, Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year
“Donoghue’s writing is as lush as it is clear-eyed; her characters and settings emerge in richly detailed prose, but there’s never a word out of place.”
Quill & Quire
“Heartbreaking and transcendent”
<em>New York Times</em>
Praise for Room:
“Thrilling and at moments palm-sweatingly harrowing.”
<em>New York Times Book Review</em>
“Her contemporary thriller Room (2010) made the author an international bestseller, but this gripping tale offers a welcome reminder that her historical fiction is equally fine.”
<em>Kirkus Reviews </em><strong>(starred review)</strong>
“Dark and vivid, with complicated characters, this is a novel that lodges itself deep”
“Claustrophobic, controversial, brilliant . . . inventive, tense, and stringently intelligent.”
Praise for The Wonder:
“A tense gothic page-turner in which nobody, including the unreliable nurse narrator, are entirely what they seem. A powerful exploration of religion and the sway it holds, The Wonder is equal parts psychological drama and unorthodox love story. A thoroughly enjoyable read from one of the country’s premier storytellers.”
“A quietly delightful read, perfectly calibrated for deep enjoyment.”
The Globe and Mail
“Donoghue’s literary prowess creeps like a dark, menacing fog across the pages.”
Quill & Quire
“Donoghue’s sparkling story is both inventive and thought-provoking.”
London Free Press
“Remarkable . . . heartrending. . . . Both gripping and poignant, it’s a tribute to human resourcefulness and resilience and extremity, and a stirring portrait of a mother’s devotion.”
“[B]ack with a novel as gripping and intense as the popular Room. The Wonder, is set in 1850s Ireland and will undoubtedly also be adapted to the big screen. The prose is so intensely alive, so cinematic that you truly can see the action unfolding before your eyes.”
“Room is that rarest of entities, an entirely original work of art. I mean it as the highest possible praise when I tell you that I can’t compare it to any other book. Suffice to say that it’s potent, darkly beautiful, and revelatory.”
Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours
“Emma Donoghue again demonstrates her facility for tension-ridden storytelling and unusual empathy.”