Lost Boy Found

Kirsten Alexander. Grand Central, $16.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-5387-0056-3
In Alexander’s uneven debut, a wealthy Louisiana family loses its youngest child and resorts to extreme measures in an attempt to heal. While visiting their Louisiana lake house in 1913, seven-year-old George Davenport and six-year-old Paul return from a walk in the woods without their four-year-old brother, Sonny. Their father, John Henry , spends the next two years chasing dead ends in search of answers about Sonny, while his wife, Mary, grieves and the older boys remain quiet about how they’d told Sonny to run away. In 1915, pregnant Grace Mill works as a maid in Magnolia, Miss. As she prepares for her new baby, she asks Gideon Wolf, who does odd jobs, to take her four-year-old mute son, Ned, for a few weeks. Gideon agrees, but doesn’t return when he was supposed to, and Grace later learns of his arrest in Louisiana for kidnapping Ned, whom the Davenports have identified as Sonny. They know that he is not their son, but they pull strings to claim him anyway. In Alexander’s didactic, black-and-white narrative of class injustice, Grace can’t possibly win when the rich decide they want something. While Alexander pulls off a truly horrific ending, what starts out as a strong narrative devolves into a flat melodrama with cartoony caricatures of the spoiled and wealthy Davenports. The narrative’s lack of moral complexity is a real turn-off. Agent: Natasha Solumun, Jacinta Di Mase Management. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/10/2020
Release date: 03/10/2020
Genre: Fiction
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