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  • Writer's pictureLilac Mills

The Borrowed Boy by Deborah Klée


A borrowed boy, a borrowed name and living on borrowed time.

What do you put on a bucket list when you haven’t done anything with your life? No interesting job, no lovers, no family, no friends. Believing she has only weeks left to live, Angie Winkle vows to make the most of every minute.

Going back to Jaywick Sands, is top of her bucket list. Experiencing life as a grandmother is not, but the universe has other plans and when four-year-old Danny is separated from his mum on the tube, Angie goes to his rescue. She tries to return him to his mum but things do not go exactly as planned and the two of them embark on a life-changing journey.

Set in Jaywick Sands, once an idyllic Essex holiday village in the 70s, but now a shantytown of displaced Londoners, this is a story about hidden communities and our need to belong.

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I thought this book would be a bit of a step away from my usual rom com, sweet romances, and I was right.

Reminiscent of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, to me The Borrowed Boy is a superb mix of drama, women's fiction, thriller and romance, whilst not allowing itself to be pigeonholed.

Angie is a troubled, lonely soul, an outcast, and at a crisis point in her life.

Nikoleta is naive, and in love, and totally out of her depth.

These two characters are the lynchpin of the book, and are the flesh on which the bones of the plot and the setting hang.

I loved it. Read it - you won't be disappointed. And I can't wait for this author to write another page-turner, so pull your finger out Ms Klée, your fans are waiting!

About the Author

Deborah has worked as an occupational therapist, a health service manager, a freelance journalist, and management consultant in health and social care.

Her protagonists are often people who exist on the edges of society. Despite the very real, but dark, subject matter her stories are uplifting, combining pathos with humour. They are about self-discovery and the power of friendships and community.

The Borrowed Boy, her debut, was shortlisted for the Deviant Minds Award 2019. Just Bea, her second novel will be published in 2021.

Deborah lives on the Essex coast. When she is not writing she combines her love of baking with trying to burn off the extra calories.

Social Media Links –

Twitter @deborahKlee

Instagram: Deborah Klee Author

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