The Foundling has enough plot to count as a page-turner, yet it still surprises with occasional profundities... Desarthe's portrayal of a young woman devastated by grief is potent... translator Adriana Hunter's rendering of the prose is flawless
Arifa Akbar, Independent
A superb study of grief that is both personal and national; a heartbreaking twist reveals the unspoken origin of Jerome's first name in a country full of buried tragedies. Brilliant and devastating
Kate Saunders, The Times
Desarthe's novel asks how adults and children alike survive emotional pain - through forgetting or remembering? A dream-like book
Adrian Turpin, Financial Times
From the Same Author
Myriam’s decision to open a restaurant in her Paris flat is characteristically unexpected and transforms her life in a curious way. For six years, Myriam has been living in self-imposed exile, cut off from her cool, reserved husband and from her son, and the opening night of Chez Moi is typically desolate. But little by little, Myriam’s mouth-watering dishes draw people in, first the florist from across the road, followed by the school children tempted by a four-euro lunch, and then Ben, the most unflappable and devoted of waiters. As the restaurant sizzles towards success, figures and feelings from Myriam’s past also begin to emerge, gradually reawakening her appetite for life, both the bitter and the sweet. Simmering with stories, recipes, observations and dreams, Chez Moi serves up a painfully adult story, with an irresistible sprinkling of wonder and magic.