A Novel

eBook - 2019
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Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Canada, 2019
ISBN: 9781443458955
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file,rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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Jan 25, 2021

Disappointing; I had higher expectations of Ms Donoghue, having read a number of her other books (Slammerkin, Room, The Wonder). As well, WW2, the Holocaust, and coming-of-age stories are among my favorite genres, so I was primed to like this book. The premise is one we've seen many times before: single person "inherits" a child from a dead/distant relative---many movies and books have centered on that initial incident. And nothing wrong with using a similar starting point as other works. I found it difficult (read: impossible) to believe that a scientist with a PhD and years of lab training would jump to so many conclusions based on so little evidence (e.g., his mother was a collaborator), especially without keeping an open mind to other possibilities. While the elderly man's personality develops over time, the teen's does not---especially his garbage mouth. I did read through to the end, hoping the novel would improve, but it reads like a debut novel for an unskilled, amateur writer.

Jan 11, 2021

Through a series of familial incidents, an 80-year old man becomes the guardian of an 11 year old boy . As he was heading off to France for a long awaited trip back to where he grew up, he is forced to take along the boy whose life has been less than well nurtured. The wisdom of the old man as he struggles with the manners, phone habits, personal habits and bad attitude of the boy, balancing both their interests and needs is heart warming.

Nov 29, 2020

AKIN is part character study, part mystery, and part travelogue. A childless widower on the cusp of his 80th birthday has his life upended when he must take his young grand-nephew on a trip to Nice, France. The main storyline follows the relationship between this unlikely duo, Noah and Michael, as they visit some of Nice’s picturesque and historic sites. A secondary storyline evolves as Great Uncle Noah attempts to uncover his own mother’s secrets from WWII. Ultimately, AKIN’s message is that it's never too late to expand your sense of family or kin. Although well-written by author Emma Donoghue, I grew tired of the foul-mouthed 11-year old Michael, and my overall rating of this book reflects that.

Oct 09, 2020

I loved this book, found it very credible, well written and touching. Highly recommended if you enjoy human interest and exploring relationships, etc. written with skill and sensitivity.

Sep 20, 2020

I found this novel to be overpowered (in a negative way) by the way the younger character was developed by the author. I read about one third, and couldn't continue...

Aug 31, 2020

I am quite surprised that this is Noah's first trip back to Nice since he left at the age of four, especially considering his comfortable financial circumstances. Many immigrants go back home every year!
Michael is a brat and his foul language is irritating. I thought that his grandmother would have raised him to speak better English! I find it hard to believe that this kid would be so consistantly negative.
You can see the movie, Un Sac de Billes which is available at the OPL. I saw them filming it when I was last in Nice. It includes a scene at the Excelsior Hotel.

Aug 02, 2020

Predictable. Disappointing. Don't waste your time!

Mar 22, 2020

Loved the story, and the characters. A little didactic; she was obviously wanting to describe and explain and think through atrocities of various sorts.
The kid is a complete and terrible brat, street unwise and mean. Only every once in a while does his true self, the soft and caring self, peek out.
I feel jealous of Noah, getting a kid only after he's comfortably retired. Raising my kids, I was exhausted day in and day out, worried about developments at work, worried about the kids, never enough time to do anything with any amount of enjoyment.

CircMary Feb 12, 2020

I enjoyed this relationship story of two most unlikely characters who are thrown together under trying circumstances and learn the meaning of caring and understanding.

Feb 12, 2020

The two characters in this book are a juxtaposition, which means "the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect."

As the book transpired I kept expecting a mystery, a problem, something to be solved. I finally realized that the story itself is the juxtaposition of the two characters.

Noah's journey to Nice is complicated by his nephew's care being foisted upon him. Nevertheless the two wander the streets, sites, attractions of Nice, trying to discover the WWII secrets of Noah's mother. On the way the two discover themselves, their kinship and their connections as motherless boys. Ms. Donaghue has titled the book "Akin" which means "of similar character", or related by blood.

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Nov 29, 2020

“The whole point of travel is to learn there's no such thing as normal.” - p. 128

Nov 29, 2020

“Over a lifetime you packed your brain tight with data, like an overstuffed suitcase, only for it all to fall out in the end.” - p.112

Mar 31, 2020

So many ways Noah couldn’t protect this boy; it was like traveling with a bag of bananas he had little chance of delivering unbruised.

Mar 31, 2020

The perpetual, cruel dynamics of childhood; every tall poppy slashed down.

Mar 31, 2020

Students were harder to impress since the turn of the millennium; they sat there with their external brains, their little screens, ready to fact-check you if you fumbled a formula.

ArapahoeStaff26 Oct 01, 2019

Weren't all of us bridges for each other, one way or another? Just a few years, fingers crossed, till Amber got out of prison. It wasn't a matter of Noah planting any olive trees, at this point, just watering one sapling, attempting to shield it from hard winds.

And then it struck him that it was really the other way around. This boy was saving Noah. rescuing him from the trap of habit, the bleak tedium of counting down the years of his retirement. Michael was the little ark, crazily bobbing, in which one lucky old man could go voyaging.

"Did it exist a hundred years ago?" "Maybe," the boy said, pressing buttons.

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