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22 Britannia Road
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October 2016: Historical Fiction > 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson - 4 stars

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Ellen | 2133 comments Shortly after they married in 1937 Poland, Janusz and Silvana are separated as WWII arrived in their town of Warsaw. Janusz joins the military, promising to return to his young wife and their newborn son, Aurek, as soon as he can. The couple will remain apart for 6 years as the war swallows them both up into tragic circumstances. Janusz, the lone survivor of his unit after a horrifying attack by machine-gunning planes, eventually makes his way to a Polish resistance movement that worked closely with England's RAF. Silvana and Aurek flee into the forest where they barely exist for 6 long years. Now Janusz has settled in England, buying a small house at 22 Britannia Road. The British Red Cross has found Silvana and Aurek and now the family is to be reunited at long last.

Life in England has been fairly good for Janusz as he has a good job and is well-thought of by co-workers and management alike. Silvana is nervously mistrustful of her new life and Aurek is a 6-year-old wild child of the forest. The young family tries to settle into a normal life but both Janusz and Silvana have wartime secrets that would topple the family's future if they were known.

The story is told from both Janusz and Silvana's points of view as each character's struggle during the war slowly is brought to light. They are both flawed individuals, whether that was inherent in their characters before the war or due to their circumstances during the conflict, I'm not quite sure. I felt that Janusz wasn't too keen on finding his family until other factors made it inconvenient not to. I can't imagine the daily terror that Silvana must have lived through and, while the extreme bond between Aurek and Silvana is certainly understandable, it became a bit creepy after awhile. On the whole, I loved the story and would recommend this book to everyone.

Ladyslott | 1880 comments Nice review. I read this book 5 years ago and loved it.

Anita Pomerantz | 6423 comments I loved this book too, but had to go back to my review to see what I liked about it. I guess I was afraid of spoiling, but I point out one flaw is an "unbelievable relationship". Of course now I have no idea what that was . . .but am guessing the bond you refer to in your last paragraph.

Overall though, I remember flying through the book . . .gripping . . .

Ashley Breanna (ashleybreanna13) | 91 comments I am adding this to my list, thank you!

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