Friday, 7 April 2017

A Boy from the Streets

A Boy from the Streets

by Maria Gibbs

4 out of 5

Two babies abandoned at birth—one grows up in a life of privilege, the other in poverty.

On the 12th of September, 1981, twin boys are born in a Brasilian hospital and left to their fate as orphans. Jose is adopted by a couple who takes him to England, but the other isn’t so lucky. Pedro ends up on the streets of Rio, left to fend for himself in a harsh and unforgiving world.

Love and betrayal.

Twelve years later Jose’s family returns to Brasil, where he learns the truth about his adoption and his twin. Thinking his adoptive parents no longer want him, he runs away to find his brother. What follows will shake Jose to the core and shape the rest of his life—if he can survive.


Jose isn’t the only one whose life will change. Pedro is offered an opportunity beyond any of his wildest dreams, but to keep it will mean the betrayal of someone he loves. This proves to be a far greater challenge than he anticipated when the orphan finds himself suddenly surrounded by family who, unfortunately, don’t all have good intentions.

Hopes and dreams.

A Boy from the Streets will tug at your heart-strings and have you rooting for the little guy as you follow the twists and turns this multi-continental tale takes.

Two innocent brothers are brought up in the different worlds of upper-class England, and the slums of Brasil. Bigger plots arise when the boys finally find each other, and it is a challenge to get out alive.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed this, it's a prince and pauper tale, set mainly in 1990's Brasil. It doesn't seem so long ago, and it's hard to believe how callous the country is to its abandoned children.
The real strength of this book is how it takes you on a tour of the life of the pivetinhos (street children). It balances perfectly the brutality of the abuse, danger and sense of it all being inescapable; but never overwhelms the rest of the story wth it.

There are several mysteries playing out, concerning young Jose and Pedro. Mainly keeping you guessing about the manner of Jose's illness, and whether his unloving English father will go through with his plan to swap him for a "stronger model", correcting the mistake that his loving mamae made years ago.
Then there is the mystery of their birth parents - of why they had to flee Brasil, and what will happen if they are reunited. Will the English couple who have been devoted to Jose for all of his life, lose him to people that are technically strangers?

The not-so-good.
I really wasn't keen on The Exiles' sections. Leandro and Christina have escaped to England, but are desperate to get back and find their children.
I know the situation is fraught with danger, but I found it hard to believe that they would let 12 years pass before making their move. (When they arrive, it seems just as dangerous, if not more so.)
The passages of them in England in particular were brief and repetitive. I had the feeling that they were put in to increase suspense of Jose and Pedro's story (you know when you're watching a really good programme, and then the adverts come on, just as you were about to find out who the murderer was...).
The passages don't do anything, except establish what we already know.

Pedro and Jose are great for the most part, but I did feel that they came across as much more mature in certain sections.

Finally, there were some formatting issues, but I had an ARC, so they may not be an issue anymore.

I would definitely recommend this Brasilian adventure!

Goodreads link

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your support and the review.

    The ARC copy jumped all over the place when I uploaded it to Calibre but was perfect everywhere else. Limited time and technical ability stopped me from fixing that :-(
    I wanted to give an idea of who Carolina and Leandro were before introducing them later on, at which point it would only have been possible to view them from the boys point of view.
    The boys are supposed to come across as very intelligent and mature but then I wanted the reader to remember that they were only boys. At that age there can be a mix of mature and immature as they find themselves.

    Thank you again for taking the time to give such a detailed review. It is very much appreciated.

    Maria <3