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A STRANGER IN THE FAMILY by Robert Barnard

A STRANGER IN THE FAMILY

By Robert Barnard

Pub Date: June 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4391-7674-0
Publisher: Scribner

A young man searches for his birth family.

At the age of three, Peter Novello’s life changed dramatically. While his family was vacationing in Sicily, he was abducted, put on a plane and handed over to the Philipsons, who renamed him Kit, adopted him and brought him up in Glasgow. Still, some memories linger, of another mother and a child’s bedroom in Leeds. On her death bed, his adoptive mother’s revelations about that woman, Isla Novello, set Kit, now in his early 20s, on a search for his birth family. His journey will explain how a Leeds solicitor’s family that never traveled holidayed in Sicily, where their son was delivered to the Philipsons, a family of Scottish academics headed by a father who had been resettled in Britain via the World War II Kindertransport that ferried Jewish offspring out of Nazi reach. Kit’s lost family had other children. They never heard him mentioned as they were growing up, and now they’re worried that he might make claims against the family’s assets. Still digging to find out the precise circumstances of his abduction, Kit learns his roots also encompass a string-pulling Mafioso whose machinations link Leeds, Glasgow and Sicily.

Middling Barnard (The Killings on Jubilee Terrace, 2009, etc.)—that is, several paces ahead of the rest in the genre.