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Little Boy Lost (Classic edition)

by Marghanita Laski

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A Well Full of Leaves
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AFTERWORD BY ANNE SEBBA
232pp
ISBN 9781906462055

'When I picked up this 1949 reprint I offered it the tenderly indulgent regard I would any period piece,' wrote Nicholas Lezard in the Guardian. 'As it turned out, the book survives perfectly well on its own merits - although it nearly finished me. If you like a novel that expertly puts you through the wringer, this is the one.

'Hilary Wainwright, poet and intellectual, returns after the war to a blasted and impoverished France in order to trace a child lost five years before. The novel asks: is the child really his? And does he want him? These are questions you can take to be as metaphorical as you wish: the novel works perfectly well as straight narrative. It's extraordinarily gripping: it has the page-turning compulsion of a thriller while at the same time being written with perfect clarity and precision.

'Had it not got so nerve-wracking towards the end, I would have read it in one go. But Laski's understated assurance and grip is almost astonishing. She has got a certain kind of British intellectual down to a tee: part of the book's nail-biting tension comes from our fear that Hilary won't do something stupid. The rest of Little Boy Lost's power comes from the depiction of post-war France herself. This is haunting stuff.'

Also available as a Persephone Grey and as a Persephone e-book

For more on Little Boy Lost, have a look at the Persephone Perspective.


Read What Readers Say

pipandloulit via Instagram

A very enjoyable read….Also this book has THE BEST ending. I’m not saying happy or sad, but it was very dramatic and gave me that rare satisfaction when finishing a read.

readerlyjoy via Instagram

I’m impressed with the quality of the paper, the font and all the beautiful details, but the writing is the best part of all… It is a simple story, tenderly and beautifully told…

caro.reads.books via Instagram

So readable and gripping I couldn’t put it down. It is an interesting portrayal of post war France illuminating the scars of war and occupation. But it is so much more than that. I don’t want to recount the plot but I held my breath right up to the end.

BBC Radio 3

An astonishing portrayal of post-war France…

Annie Ernaux, ‘New York Times’

My favourite book no-one else has heard of.

Categories: Classics

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