I raced through this novel in one sitting, so desperate was I to find out what happens to Danek, the ‘borrowed boy’, in Klée’s story. Angie Winkle, aging and alone, knows she has cancer and probably doesn’t have long to live. Her life has been unsatisfactory and she has decided to revisit an old seaside haunt, Jaywick Sands, one last time.
What did you put on a bucket list when you hadn’t done anything? Hadn’t moved from the terraced house in Dagenham where she had grown up, hadn’t had an interesting job, hadn’t fallen in love or married, hadn’t had a child, hadn’t gone abroad.
It is at this point that her world collides with that of a young polish woman, Nikoleta, and the little boy with her on the London Underground. In a moment of panic, Danek is separated from Nikoleta and it is Angie who rescues him. Driven by her desire for one last day of happiness, Angie decides to borrow the little boy and take him to the seaside with her. What follows is an emotional and moving story about love, loss, and finding out who your friends are.
Angie is a marvellous character, one I fell for quickly. There’s something about her that reminds me of me of Eleanor Oliphant. She’s spent most of her adult life feeling like an outsider, and so when she grabs a chance at happiness, you want it to work. Her relationship with Danek is brilliantly written and you find yourself rooting for this new family unit, even when all seems impossible. There is a good deal of darkness at the edges of the novel, particularly where Danek’s story is concerned, and also an awful lot of bravery. Whilst Angie is at the heart of the novel, the community which forms around her is unexpected and warm. I really enjoyed this novel – highly recommended!
My thanks to Rachel @rararesources for my review copy. Join the rest of the blog tour here:
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.
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.
Social Media Links – http://abrakdeborah.wordpress.com
Instagram: Deborah Klee Author