Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski was first published in 1949 but it has been republished by Persephone Books.
Hilary Wainwright had been married to a French woman, Lisa and they were living in France with their baby son John, unfortunately Hilary had to leave his wife and son in France as they weren’t well enough to flee when the Germans invaded France. Hilary only received a few letters from his wife after that and he has no idea what has happened to them. Lisa had been working for an escape organisation helping British servicemen.
In 1943 a Frenchman tells Hilary that Lisa is dead, having been rounded up by the Gestapo, but his son may still be alive, and after the war Hilary tries to track John down, but in a Europe full of displaced and orphaned children it’s a huge task, and he has no idea what his son would look like. He’s not even sure if he wants to track him down, he’s planning to marry again and a young son by a dead wife wasn’t in his plans.
This was a great read with a main character who is anything but perfect but is completely believable and understandable. The book also gives an authentic view of France and the French as they struggled in a post war society with little to live on and memories of who did what with whom during the German occupation.