FIND THE BOY by W. H. Canaway


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A first appearance in the United States for this Welsh novelist's pursuit of a ten year old boy's wanderings the length of Africa reconciles adventure and a rapid growing up in a shadowy frame of High Wind In Jamaica. Young Sammy Hartland, English, is suddenly orphaned in the risings of November 1956 and his nationality is a danger. He heads for his Aunt Jane in Durban and makes his way from Port Said, via some friends of all nationalities, some threats, and hazards of which he is often unaware. After the death of a treacherous Syrian from snakebite he is picked up by American Mrs. van Imhoff, taken to Khartoum where Aunt Jane, alerted by his rescuer, is to come. But Sammy wanders away while Aunt Jane fends off an Italian journalist; becomes the mascot of pilgrims; is tracked down by the Italian and, unable to make communication, escapes from him. Refuge is given by the poacher Wainwright (whose sideline is illicit diamonds) and, more than that, the security Sammy needs; the boy's rehabilitation becomes a challenge to the man and their traveling heads Sammy to his destination. Against the variegated African backgrounds the sturdy, lonesome, sometimes helpless Sammy makes his way without sentimentality while the adult periphery indulges its human failings almost at the expense of his trust in grownups. A firm handed telling keeps this from exploiting lurid excitement, holds it to qualities of simplicity.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1961
Publisher: Viking