The Borrowed Boy – Deborah Klée

Good day friends!

How are you all doing today? I’m starting my vacation today after seven weeks as an intern for Equinor. I’m very proud of what my group and I have achieved over these past weeks, and I’m starting to feel ready to work full time once my studies are over which will be next summer! This book is published today! The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads:

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.

The Borrowed Boy is a strange and sweet story at the same time. In the beginning I was a bit unsure what was going on and this feeling sort of stuck with me throughout the book. Several times I was wondering where this story was heading and if the storyline had more to it. Then there were some plot twist thrown and I got more involved with the story. This is the kind of story that starts, has no middle, and then ends. What do I mean by this because it’s obviously a middle section right? Well, what I mean is that you start the story, and you read, and then it builds itself up rather steadily. Nothing too dramatic or too slow, just steadily and whoosh you’re at the end. This might sound weird since I just said that I had a feeling of being unsure where this story was heading. These two contradicting aspects made for an engaging read in a different way than what I’m used to. It made me look more at the characters within the story than the story itself and there are some well executed characters in here!

Concerning our characters I was wondering if there was something wrong with Angie, our main female character. There is something wrong with her but not in the way you might expect. When I started this story I found her exceptionally selfish. At the end of the story I still found her selfish but in a different manner. I mean who borrows a boy in the way that Angie does in this story?! I know she has her experiences and they are revealed to us as the story progresses but I’m standing my ground and stick with that Angie is selfish. Then the question: Who am I to judge her? Would I have done the same in her situation with her experiences? I would like to say that I wouldn’t but I know I can be quite egocentric if the situation is right. Angie’s situation are one of those that are hard to imagine and hard to understand. She’s not mean or wish anyone harm but I would say that her behavior is a bit different from what one might consider normal. Angie is a complex and strange character but at the same time you can’t help loving her. I also love that the author hasn’t fixated too much on looks in this book! Gives me as a reader the opportunity to use my imagination!

Then there is Danny, or Danek depending on which side of the story you’re reading. This poor little soul who has been through so much and just parts of it is revealed in the book. I would like to know how he came to be where he was and where he ended up in the end beyond the ending of this book. People who treat kids like Danny as if they were disposable disgusts me! No kids deserves that kind of treatment! Danny really proves how adaptable kids are and how they’re able to find happiness in most places. He is just the sweetest little soul who wishes for nothing more than to be with his ‘Nemma’ and to stay in Jaywick. I see him as this sweet and excited little kid who needs someone to love him for who he is and who can give him the opportunity to play in the sand with his friends.

The Borrowed Boy is a unusual read, at least it was for me. It was good with great characters and exciting plot twists! It’s a book packed with action in many ways but the action is not over the top and presents itself through more ‘daily’ activities. Hence the unusualness of this read. I found it intriguing that I focused more on the characters this time, and it was a great experience!

Author Bio

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




Published: 2020

Genre: Fiction

Theme: Vacation, friends, loneliness

– The Book Reader


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