THE FINDING by Nina Bawden


Email this review


This Bawden family story features a simple-natured little boy and, less centrally, his less ingenuous older sister Laura. A foundling, Alex was discovered as an infant in a sphinx's lap on the Thames embankment, and he is now seen celebrating--instead of a birthday--the ninth anniversary of his Finding Day. As the members of his loving adoptive family often remark, Alex is a sensitive, sweet, innocent child; and Bawden plays up his innocent confusion when he finds himself the catalyst for general distress. The trouble begins shortly after old Mrs. Angel, whom Alex has often visited with his grandmother, dies and leaves him her fortune. This incurs the wrath of Mrs. Angel's unpleasant nephew, upsets Alex's mother, and exposes the family to hounding by the press. Typically, Alex decides they'd all be better off without him, and so he runs away. His one night away evokes faint shades of Dickens, when the kind lady who takes him in proves mother hen to a den of thieves. But Alex is turned loose next day, to wander back and be found again at the site of his original Finding. All of this could be mawkish in lesser hands, but Bawden's close touch with Alex's and Laura's perception of things keeps it from cloying.

Pub Date: May 17th, 1985
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard