Lion: A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
|Lion: A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: A little boy gets lost on a train and ends up thousands of miles from home. As an adult, he attempts to piece together his old memories and find his original family.|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 272||Date: January 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
At first glance, Saroo Brierley seems to be a normal, well adjusted Australian man. He has a job, a girlfriend, a good social life and a supportive family, but his life could have turned out very differently. Saroo was born in India, where his single mother had to work hard to feed him and his three siblings. The children lived an almost feral existence, disappearing for days, exploring the local area for food and job opportunities. One fateful day, young Saroo begged his older brother Guddu to take him along on an adventure. The thrill soon turned to fear when the pair became separated and Saroo found himself trapped on a moving train. After a long journey, the train finally pulled into Kolkata station, leaving the five-year-old child alone and terrified. Soon he was found by the authorities and adopted by a family in Australia, where he spent most of his life trying to piece together his fragmented memories of his origins.
Lion is the true story of Saroo's tireless, obsessive search for the town where he grew up and his lost family. Piecing together fragments of information, he was able to discover clues to his origins. For example, he knew that his home town had a small railway station. He could also estimate how far he had travelled based on the average speed of a train and the length of time on board. Local landmarks, like the water tower and overpass provided further clues. With the help of his friends and the advent of Google Earth technology, Saroo could begin the task of following endless railway tracks on his computer screen, a task that would take him many frustrating years to complete.
The story is a fascinating and engaging one and Saroo is an excellent narrator. We really feel as though we are with him along every step of his breathtaking journey. The book conveys his emotions perfectly and readers may need a pack of tissues on hand as it reaches its conclusion.
Quite rightly, the story has been made into a motion picture and now I have read the book, I'm keen to go and see it on the big screen. More tissues may be needed...
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Saroo's life and journey as well as learning about the sad plight of street children in India. His story is one that will stay with the reader long after the final page. It was also interesting to discover the secret behind the title of the book, but I'm not revealing anything here! Many thanks to the publishers for my review copy.
Readers may also enjoy Q & A by Vikas Swarup which inspired the movie Slumdog Millionaire and shares some of the same themes as this book.
You can read more book reviews or buy Lion: A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Lion: A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley at Amazon.com.
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