the Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah (2007)
 Raj is nine when he meets David, ten at the hospital in Beau-Bassin, Mauritius. Raj is there because his father had one of his drunken violent outburst and David is there because he’s sick and a Jew. The boys form a friendship which Raj still clings to sixty years later after David’s death.

The Jews who came with a ship in the autumn of 1944 are interned at the prison which also holds the hospital. The boys sneak out at night and play and communicate in the language they both barely speak, French. And after a violent storm, David escapes from the prison and the boys eventually run off together.

Such a thin, quiet and beautiful tale of yet another aspect of the second World War. I really enjoyed the childish angle and the observations of Raj. Appanah has also entwined the present tense Raj in such a simple and beautiful way. And there is plenty to be learnt from it about Mauritius, and World War II. And the cover perfectly illustrates the book.

The story is based on the true events of the Jewish internment on Mauritius. Read it! And I will definitely be looking out for more books from Nathacha.