Blaise Fortune has spent his childhood on the run. He lives with Gloria the kind woman who found him as a baby in the Republic of Georgia. Gloria often tells Blaise the story of how she saved him after hearing a terrible train accident in her family's orchard and how Blaise's mother, a Frenchwoman, asked her to care for him.
As Blaise grows up, things begin to crumble and the Soviet Union collapses. Unsure of why they always seem to be living on the edge, Blaise recounts how he and Gloria live on the run, doing odd jobs, trying to make ends meet, often going hungry. There is much that Blaise doesn't understand about his childhood and when he and Gloria set out on a dangerous journey across the Caucasus and Europe to try and repatriate Blaise to France, it takes them years and they endure incredible hardship.
This was a story that was both sad and hopeful. Blaise's reflections on his childhood, as he unravels the truth about who he really is takes place alongside beautifully written historical fiction that delves into a period in time (and place) which I was unfamiliar with. Themes of family, hope, and survival.