Lewis Little, aged 13, has accompanied his beautiful mother, Alice, to Paris for the summer. Alice is translating a novel from Rusian into English written by her friend Valentina Gavrilovich. Lewis and Alice live with Valentina in her Paris flat, along with Sergei, the dog, and Babba/Valentina, the visiting maid-of-all-work from Benin. Outside on the roof is Didier, the philosophical roofer. Lewis falls madly in love with Valentina, his mother is keeping secrets, and his father, Hugh, back in England, wants them to come home. Then Valentina vanishes. It's up to Lewis to sift through photographs, computer files, and his own observations when the police prove less than efficient. The book is wry and funny, scary and sad. Lewis is a sensitive protagonist.
This report prepared by Leslie Birdwell