Someone just mentioned the book Zazoo by Richard Mosher to me this afternoon. Published in 2001, this deeply moving book tells the story of a Vietnamese orphan and her elderly "grandpere" as she learns about life and love and as he deals with the spectres of his past.
Zazoo is set on the canals of France. There are secrets that Zazoo uncovers as she tries to care for the man who is her only family. He appears to be sliding into senility and is tortured by the events of his youth in France during WWII. A strange boy arrives in the neighborhood and becomes Zazoo's friend and first love.
Although this book is categorized as Young Adult fiction, any adult who picks it up will not be disappointed.