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The Two Saplings

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Two baby boys are born on the same day; one American, one English, their futures spread out before them safe in the arms of their affluent parents. But a mix up in the nursing home changes everything. Years later, the babies now grown to young boys, a chance meeting sparks a revelation that will rock both families to their very cores. Camilla Wilde, on holiday in Europe with her husband Robert and her son Palmer, spots a youth that looks so like her husband that a terrible suspicion soon turns to a strong conviction. When it is confirmed that the boy is Mark Rendal, and that his parents are indeed the same pair that shared the nursing home with them all those years ago, Camilla persuades the reluctant Rendal's to discover the awful truth.

A decision is made. Both boys must spend a year in the other's lives in order to understand the culture they were born into, and the birth parents they view as strangers. But as Palmer remains in England, and Mark sets sale to the United States, war is brewing in Europe, casting its long shadow over everything.

First published in 1942, The Two Saplings looks at nature versus nurture, how culture and country can take root within, and how home, no matter how pleasant one's surroundings, can never be replaced.

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