Brenda's Reviews > A Long Way Home

A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2013-release, non-fiction, biography, aussie-authors, arc, net-galley, own-read, read-on-kindle

When Saroo Brierley was born, he was born into poverty in a small town in India. Of course he wasn’t Saroo Brierley then, and when he became lost he was only five, and could only remember his name was Saroo. His early childhood was happy in his memory. He and his siblings were always hungry, but that was a fact of life. They spent their days begging for food, eating scraps from the ground and doing the best they could. They were the typical impoverished children with big tummys bloated from gas, thin and malnourished. The four of them lived with their mother, as their father had deserted them to take a second wife. So their hardship was intense. Saroo’s responsibility was to look after his baby sister while their mother worked. Their two older brothers would try to find food, working for a few rupee in hopes of buying enough for a meal.

The night Saroo’s life began its dramatic and dangerous turn, he had gone with his oldest brother on the pushbike, and was told to wait at the train station for him. After waking from sleep and finding himself alone, he panicked and boarded a train, ultimately finding himself in Calcutta many hours later. The next few weeks were terrifying, lonely and intensely dangerous as he lived on the streets with only his wits to help him, but finally the kindness of a stranger turned his life around.

When he was adopted by a lovely couple by the name of Brierley and taken to his new home in Hobart in Tasmania, his life was new, strange but wonderful as well. His memories of his home in India were kept alive by his adoptive parents, and his transition into an Australian lifestyle was not the trauma that it was for some.

The story of Saroo’s life from his very early days in India, the trauma when he was lost, the transportation to Australia and his new life, then his growing up through school, teenage years and beyond, plus the beginning of his serious search for his home town in India with few details is an awe inspiring and inspirational one. His determination along with the love and support of his parents, and the help of strangers is wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It is beautifully told, with the emotions see-sawing throughout. This is a highly recommendable book by an amazing young man who has been willing to share his experiences and his life with us all.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy to read and review.
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Reading Progress

July 10, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
July 10, 2013 – Shelved
July 10, 2013 – Shelved as: 2013-release
July 10, 2013 – Shelved as: non-fiction
July 10, 2013 – Shelved as: biography
July 10, 2013 – Shelved as: aussie-authors
July 11, 2013 – Shelved as: arc
July 11, 2013 – Shelved as: net-galley
July 18, 2013 – Started Reading
July 18, 2013 –
July 19, 2013 – Shelved as: own-read
July 19, 2013 – Shelved as: read-on-kindle
July 19, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)

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Elaine This one sounds really interesting Brenda. It's one that we feature at work too. Will be interested to see what you think when you get to it.

Brenda My husband saw it mentioned in the paper yesterday, so I checked netgalley, requested and received it, and reserved the print copy for him from the library. It sounds quite amazing, doesn't it.

Elaine Yes, it does.

Elaine Gosh that was quick!!! I'm sure it was earlier today that I read that you'd started it. Clearly you enjoyed it. Look forward to reading your review, Brenda.

Brenda I just this minute finished it Elaine! I started it last night when I went to bed:)

Elaine Yes, it seems to be that kind of book going by some of the other reviews, although it's not unusual for you to finish a book this quickly, I'm sure.

Yvonne Perkins This sounds like an incredible story! How many of us became lost as children but thankfully were only bereft for minutes, not for the rest of our lives like Saroo Brierley. Thankyou for taking care not to reveal spoilers. I'm intrigued and want to know what happened in the end which means that I have to read the book :-)

I found your review through the Australian Women Writers' Challenge. I'm in the process of writing an overview of Challenge reviews of histories, memoirs and biographies for the month. While this book sounds like it deserves publicity and every success our Challenge is restricted to female authors so I'll have to take this book off the list.

Brenda Thanks Yvonne! I have done that a couple of times and managed to correct myself before I put it through to the link. Thanks for picking it up for me, I have deleted it from my challenge thread. But at least you now know about the book, and have a desire to read it;) Definitely well worth it, in my opinion:)

Thanks again:)

message 10: by Lit Bug (new) - added it

Lit Bug This is such an incredible story! Did he find his family back in India, though? I wonder what kind of life he would have had, but for the kindness of complete strangers...

Brenda Lit Bug you'll have to read it to find out;) It's certainly an amazing story!

Yvonne Perkins As a result of your review Brenda, I bought the book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. My review is on my blog.

Thankyou for introducing me to this story :-)

Brenda So glad you enjoyed it Yvonne:) Just as well I made a mistake wouldn't have spotted it otherwise..

Yvonne Perkins Yes, great mistake!

Brenda :)

message 16: by Angela (new) - added it

Angela DeSilva Great review, sounds like I book I would enjoy.

Brenda Thanks Angela :) Even this long later since I read it, I still remember it in detail. It was a great book :)

Janine Just read it this week Brenda, loved it!! Am seeing the movie next weekend.

Brenda It was amazing wasn't it! Enjoy the movie - Nicole Kidman is a MC isn't she?

Janine She plays his mother in the movie

Brenda Ahh yes - and I thought when I saw the "shorts" the other night that short hair suits her :)

message 22: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ I would love to read this book since I do loved the movie. But I can't can't seem to find it at our library or even Amazon. I will check again but don't think I made a mistake.

Brenda Here's the link for it on Amazon US Nancy...

And Book Depository -

Good luck :)

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