Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Long Way Home

By Saroo Brierley
Berkley, 2015. 273 pgs. Biography

Saroo Brierley spent his first five years living in rural India with a loving but very poor mother and his three siblings. Barely finding enough to eat from day to day, his brothers expand their search for work and food by catching trains to nearby villages. One night Saroo goes with his brother to another town and falls asleep on a bench waiting for his brother to return.  Waking up in a panic and still drowsy Saroo enters a train car looking for his brother but then the train leaves the station.  Many hours later the train reaches Calcutta. Saroo is so young he scarcely knows his name, let alone where he is from but he manages to survive from day to day.

If you irretrievably lose your family what would be best thing that could happen to you?  Given that there are millions of homeless, abandoned, orphaned children in India Saroo is very fortunate to be picked up off the street, sent to an orphanage, and then adopted by a family in Australia. Still the memory of his birth family and his longing for them is always with him until one day he vows to find them.  Saroo’s story is a glimpse into a faraway world – at once triumphant and heartbreaking.  This book was made into the film “Lion,” released in 2016. It is a quick and rewarding read.

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