Book Review: A Long Way Home
by Saroo Brierly
My Rating: ***** (5 out of 5 Stars)
Why Did I Read?
This book was recommended to me by a friend. She had just finished reading it and offered to let me borrow it. I enjoy reading memoirs occasionally, and this story just seemed so incredible that I couldn’t resist!
Summary (from Goodreads)
The miraculous and triumphant story of a young man who rediscovers not only his childhood life and home…but an identity long-since left behind.
At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia.
Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. Eventually, with the advent of Google Earth, he had the opportunity to look for the needle in a haystack he once called home, and pore over satellite images for landmarks he might recognize or mathematical equations that might further narrow down the labyrinthine map of India. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.
A Long Way Home is a moving, poignant, and inspirational true story of survival and triumph against incredible odds. It celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit: hope.
When Saroo Brierley used Google Earth to find his long-lost birthplace half a world away, his story made global headlines. That story is being published in several languages around the world and is currently being adapted into a major feature film. Brierley was born in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, India. He currently lives in Hobart, Tasmania.
What Did I Think/Recommendation
I loved this book! It truly is an incredible story! If I had to describe the story in one word, that word would be “miraculous.” I felt like I was along for the entire journey with Saroo, and I felt so many different emotions along the way. I continue to be amazed at the things he had to do to survive on his own at only 5 years old. This story opened my eyes to a whole new world, so very different from the only life and culture I have ever truly been exposed to. When I got to the pictures in the middle of the book, tears of joy poured! I am amazed by everything he had to go through, but just as Saroo says, there is no doubt in my mind that everything that happened was all meant be and everything was meant to turn out exactly as it did. What an amazing story that has the ability to inspire and encourage others to never ever give up hope!
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in reading a miraculous story. I have recommended it to my teenage daughters, although they have not read it yet. The story has also been made into the movie, Lion. (“Lion” is the meaning of Saroo’s birth name in Hindi.) I have not seen the movie yet, but I am looking forward to seeing it. Here is the movie trailer:
My Favorite Quotes
My favorite quotes are from the last few lines in the book:
I feel strongly that from my being a little lost boy with no family to becoming a man with two, everything was meant to happen just the way it happened. And I am profoundly humbled by that thought.
It is sometimes difficult not to imagine some forces at work that are beyond my understanding.