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Publisher's Summary

A retired New York professor's life is thrown into chaos when he takes a young great-nephew to the French Riviera, in hopes of uncovering his own mother's wartime secrets in the next masterpiece from New York Times best-selling author Emma Donoghue.

Noah Selvaggio is a retired chemistry professor and widower living on the Upper West Side, but born in the South of France. He is days away from his first visit back to Nice since he was a child, bringing with him a handful of puzzling photos he's discovered from his mother's wartime years. But he receives a call from social services: Noah is the closest available relative of an eleven-year-old great-nephew he's never met, who urgently needs someone to look after him. Out of a feeling of obligation, Noah agrees to take Michael along on his trip.

Much has changed in this famously charming seaside mecca, still haunted by memories of the Nazi occupation. The unlikely duo, suffering from jet lag and culture shock, bicker about everything from steak frites to screen time. But Noah gradually comes to appreciate the boy's truculent wit, and Michael's ease with tech and sharp eye help Noah unearth troubling details about their family's past. Both come to grasp the risks people in all eras have run for their loved ones, and find they are more akin than they knew.

Written with all the tenderness and psychological intensity that made Room an international best seller, Akin is a funny, heart-wrenching tale of an old man and a boy, born two generations apart, who unpick their painful story and start to write a new one together.

©2019 Emma Donoghue (P)2019 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Akin

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Tedium ad nauseum

This has one scene that gets reenacted over and over again on the backdrop of a story.
11 year old junk-food and blue-screen addicted boy and 79 year old college prof argue about junk-food and screens vs. healthy foods and "the real world". This book spends 10 hours describing any given 10 minutes of my life in various settings. Do not bother with this disappointment,

5 people found this helpful

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Very enjoyable

This was a good pick off the recent sale list, I'm glad I got it. This is no Room, but Emma Donaghue again demonstrates her talent at keeping us engaged and learning right along with a narrator who is making discoveries throughout. I have a particular affinity for the French language so I actually wish I had read this in hard copy to see the words and work out their meanings more on my own, but unless you're a French language nerd you probably won't have the same problem. It'll just make you, like me, desperate to visit the Côte d'Azur.

1 person found this helpful

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Great grandpa takes on a challenge

How the old man handled he boy is wonderful on a trip to Nice. Learned more about WWII.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fascinating story w/ disappointing ending

I thought this story had a lot of opportunity for a great finish.
There were so many possibilities and twists that could be imagined.
But the whole ending was abandoned for a fade off into the sunset disappointment

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What a great story!

I really liked this book. Wonderful story and great for a Book Club discussion.

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a beautiful story about relationships

This was one of the sweetest books I've read about multi generational relationships. The author truly captured the essence of all the many relationships, from sisters to wife to friend, and then nailed it with the old man and the boy.

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Tedious

Thought it would never end. Seemed like a never ending conversation/travelogue with some French lessons thrown in for good measure. Never did seem to get to the point.

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Superb Store

Superb connection between generations present, past and looking ahead to a promising future. The underlying current of leaving a mark behind for future generations to learn from traveled throughout the entire book. Kudos to the author.

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Past, present and future

An enchanting story of generations. Historical features entwined with a not uncommon social trend. Older generation left to care for younger generation. Different generational language, but each able able to retain their own yet communicate with each other. Both are men on the timeline, one is further along.

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Good story - Well-written, expertly read

Jason Culp does a masterful job bringing Emma Donoghue’s story to life by playing both an 11-year old tough-as-nails boy and his 79-year old great uncle, a retired chemistry professor. Donoghue weaves a fetching tale and takes the listener on a virtual tour of Nice, in present day and in the 1940s.