A Long Way Home...A review
Saroo Brierley's story seems like it should be heart-breaking. Like, sobbing through it heart-breaking. But the way he writes it almost feels distant, as if he is writing about someone else. I'm not sure if this adds to the overall appeal or makes it seem like something was missing.
The gist: he got lost in India, his home country when he was five years old. He somehow made it all the way to [then] Calcutta, where he lived on the streets for weeks by himself until eventually making his way to an orphanage. He gets adopted by a family in Australia and the book details that experience.
That is a drastic paraphrase of the story, but I don't want to ruin any of the twists and turns for those of you who want to read it. Saroo describes his turmoil as he begins to look for his hometown, a name he could never remember. He eloquently details what it's like to desire a place that is now foreign to him, and a family different than the one who raised him.
The reconciliations he makes for searching for his home and family while still loving his adopted parents are beautiful, and I think it would help adoptive parents understand why their children might follow the same journey.
I won't go on too much as I really do think you all should read it, but know that the details drive the story, so push through the monotonous moments. It's worth it for the end!
Who is this book for?
People who adopted in the 80s: Absolutely. What pioneers.
People who are considering adoption: Yes! It really shows what it's like from the child's perspective, a voice often not heard.
Most people: YES. Though not the best book ever written, the story is too fascinating to miss.
What does this book say?
Of course, when I first arrived in Australia, the emphasis was on the future, not the past. I was being introduced into a new life in a very different world from the one I'd been born into ... Mum didn't worry too much about my learning English immediately ... she thought it was far more important at the outset to comfort and care for me, and gain my trust. You don't need words for that.
...my experiences have undoubtedly shaped who I am today, providing me with an unshakable faith in the importance of family—however it is formed—and a belief in the goodness of people and the importance of grasping opportunities as they are presented. I wouldn't wish to erase any of that.