22 Britannia Road

22 Britannia Road

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Amanda Hodgkinson

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  • Publisher: Penguin USA
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 202mm x 18mm | 254g
  • Publication date: 24 April 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0143121049
  • ISBN 13: 9780143121046
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 491,324

Product description

"Hodgkinson's portrait of the primal bond between mother and child . . . leaves an indelible impression." --"The New York Times Book Review"Debuting its first week on the "New York Times" bestseller list and earning comparisons to "Sophie's Choice" and "Sarah's Key," "22 Britannia Road" is an astonishing first novel that powerfully chronicles one family's struggle to create a home in the aftermath of war.With World War II finally over, Silvana and her seven-year-old son, Aurek, board the ship that will take them to England, where Silvana's husband, Janusz--determined to forget his ghosts--has rented a little house at 22 Britannia Road. But after years spent hiding in the forests of Poland, Aurek is wild, almost feral. And for Silvana, who cannot escape the painful memory of a shattering wartime act, forgetting is not a possibility.

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By THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK 06 Jul 2012 5

In order to survive, Silvana and her infant son Aurek hid in the woods of Poland for the six years that Janusz was away during World War II. By the end of the War, Janusz is now living in England. With the help of the Red Cross, he finds Silvana and Aurek, only to discover that six years away from one another is a lifetime of secrets. Although they attempt to put things back together, the attentions of another man toward Silvana cause the facade they have so carefully built to come crumbling to the ground.

This is my kind of novel; the one that keeps you up all night reading "one more chapter". Set in World War II and post-WWII, primarily in Poland, France, and England, Ms. Hodgkinson has drawn such a clear picture of what it was like in those areas that the reader can almost feel as though they have stepped into Silvana or Janusz's shoes. Her descriptions of the forests were so vivid that I could almost smell the earthy smell of the forest. Silvana's character is such a sympathetically written one that even when the reader finally understands what she has done to survive, it is easy for the reader to understand and forgive.

If this is what she can do for a first novel, I look forward to reading Amanda Hodgkinson's future works. 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Review quote

"A riveting historical novel, set in post-WWII England, about a Polish couple reunited after enduring-and committing-crimes of love and war." -"O, the Oprah Magazine" "Hodgkinson's debut is an eloquent, heart-wrenching account of one couple's struggle to reunite as a family after devastating wartime experiences. A stellar example of literary WWII fiction." -"Booklist " "What comes after surviving? asks Hodgkinson in her ambitious, emotionally incisive first novel threaded with primitive human instincts for safety and companionship. Hodgkinson enters boldly into well-trodden, sensitive territory and distinguishes herself with freshness and empathy." -"Kirkus" (starred review) "Fans of novels like "The Guernsey Literary" and "Potato Peel Society" and "Sarah's Key", who can never have too much of a good war story, will warm to this fine debut. Recommended." -"Library Journal"