The retired New York professor and the street wise eleven-year-old make for an odd pair. Foisted on him at the eleventh hour by an insistent social worker, Noah Salvaggio reluctantly accepts his great-nephew Michael as a travelling companion on a much-anticipated trip to Nice. For it is here on the Cote d'Azur that Noah's mother had weathered the storms of Nazi occupation, but with some disconcerting photos casting confusion on her experiences.
Both a mystery and a family drama, this is an intriguing story of intergenerational reckoning and a glimpse at the French Riviera's wartime past.
The group enjoyed the book. They liked the relationship between Noah and his grandson Michael. One member thought the extended sections of dialogue went on too much, but the others mostly enjoyed the dialogue. Lots of threads came together well.
We all enjoyed this overall, probably not as 'gripping' as 'Room' but a great story, a journey and an easy read.
The whole group was a little ho-hum about this book, as we felt the storyline was bit thin and stretched out. However after quite an active discussion using the questions suggested the whole mood changed, and we agreed there was a lot more to this book than first appeared, especially after Question 8. The real benefit of a book discussion group, we all felt!
Great story - thoughtful and interesting. Enjoyed by all the group.
Generally underwhelmed by this book, but it sparked a fun discussion about whether or not it takes a village to raise a child, and if so, what happens when you have no village
Very enjoyable book! Easy to read and relate to and everyone read it completely. Believable characters.
Members who had read 'Room' by the same author were disappointed. Everyone was disappointed or not invested in the plot, but most appreciated the well-written characters of Michael and Noah and found the dynamic between then believable. Everyone felt there was not enough info/plot development on peripheral characters or WW2 story line. We were all waiting for something more but it was not forthcoming. Most appreciated the realism of the ending, but did not hold out for Michael realistically remaining with Noah in the long term.
We enjoyed this book. It's true that it isn't a very realistic novel in the plot details, but it holds interest through the setting in Nice and the characterisation of Noah and Michael and their relationship. It does seem that Noah has unusual patience and psychological insight, but even so, the relationship that develops is moving. The other plot element, the events that happened in Nice during the war, is also interesting, though the conclusions that Noah comes to about his mother seem tenuously arrived at. On the whole, a very good read.
Mixed reactions to this one from the group, from those who hated it, thought the pacing was slow, the characters unrealistic, and the dialogue unbelievable, to those who thought it an enjoyable story that was easy to read. All agreed, even those who loved the book, that it stretched credibility at times, eg, with social services allowing an elderly man to take a child out of the country and the main character jumping to the conclusion that his mother was a Nazi collaborator.
Most of the group thoroughly enjoyed the book. One member felt that it was a bit heavy-handed in it's message. We felt this book would thoroughly be enjoyed by teenagers as well. But it was very popular and a lovely read with the descriptions of Nice and the meeting of the generations.
An easy read but rather predictable. Enjoyed descriptions of Nice. Thought the boy's character too old for 11 years!
Two thirds of the group enjoyed the book, particularly for the growing relationship between Noah and Michael, and for the setting in Nice. 1/3 of the group felt it was flat and a bit contrived, and not as engaging as her previous book 'Room'.
Some people really liked Akin, and others found it too slow and not so good to read.
Akin is a fantastic story. The two main characters Noah and Michael are very believable. Very amusing in parts, and Emma Donoghue once again reels you in for a great tale.
Almost everyone enjoyed this book, it had several intriguing storylines and an insightful view of inter-generational differences. Some quibbled over feasibility, eg. could Noah have actually taken Michael on an overseas trip having only just met him - legality issues Nevertheless a great read.
We thought the portrayal of the 2 main characters was very true to life. The books develops slowly as the relationship unfolds on their enforced journey together to France. The back story of Noah's mother during the war years was an added intrigue, and the past gave a bridge to the generation gap, with Michael's clearer eye and more tech-savvy skills, and Noah's experience. Overall we enjoyed the intergenerational conflicts.
The majority of our group enjoyed this book. Some thought it was a little slow, but well-written with lots of detail. The interaction between Noah and Michael was very real and enlightening. Loved all the characters!!
Enjoyed by the group - a good gentle read.
A touching story about family, and what makes us family.
An interesting plot, which was a bit long winded at times - very well written. The diversity, especially with language between young and old, was well done.
A popular book - easy to read and appreciated for the descriptions of Nice, and the development of the relationship between the older great uncle and the young nephew. They start out as strangers, but through the book and their trip back to the great uncle's hometown, develop a bond and relationship that we know continued on after the story ended. Some thought it was predictable and preachy, but the majority enjoyed it as a pleasant and positive story.
We all really enjoyed this book.