This reminded me of a male Cinderella story. At its outset we meet Paul, an unloved and unwanted child in Lancashire. He sleeps on the scullery floor at night and is beaten whenever his mother and stepfather over imbibe (which is most of the time). This would normally break a child's spirit but Paul is of a different nature entirely. For one he is an egoist; there's really no other word for it.
Instead of accepting the inevitable drudge of factory work and home misery as his fate, he sees great things for himself and is convinced that he is the descendant of a Prince. (Why else would he look and act so differently from his family?) So he decides to run away and become what he always knew himself to be: Great.
And he does. He goes from modeling in art studios (he's Adonis in the flesh), to trying his hand at acting, to bankruptcy, pneumonia and dying under a bush, and eventually discovering his fairy godmother and a path to politics and success.
And that's where he lost me... I'm not at all into politics and I would have found the story much more interesting if he made his fortune frying fish rather than waving the flag. That's just me.
But there are some interesting twists and turns in the story especially with regard to his real father's identity and a French princess.
A solid 3 stars