Nicola Beauman, author of A Very Great Profession and biographies of EM Forster, Cynthia Asquith and The Other Elizabeth Taylor, is the founder of Persephone Books and recommends Little Boy Lost (1949) by Marghanita Laski. Here’s what she says about the book:
Little Boy Lost (1949) by Marghanita Laski is a Persephone book we often recommend to people who haven’t read any of our books before. It is short. It is unputdownable. It is good for men and women. And it is incredibly thought-provoking: an Englishman returns to France just after the war, in order to look for the son who was spirited away after his wife was shot by the Gestapo in 1940. But is ‘Jean’ his son? And does he want him to be? A novel about the soul of an Englishman, about fatherhood – or not – and about France starting to come to terms with the events of the war years, Little Boy Lost is one of those rare books that changes you. When, at the end, you are wrung out: this is what the experience of reading fiction should be.