Saturday, January 7, 2017

22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson

I rarely give a negative review on this blog, mainly because there are so many good books to read I don't feel I have to, but I was particularly disappointed by this book. It began with so much promise of an important story that needed to be told, but it wasn't long before I found myself losing interest in it and the two main characters. 

Basically, this is the story of a Polish family, Janusz, his wife Silvana and their son Aurek, torn apart by from each other at the start of World War II. Required by law to join the Polish army, Janusz is on a train that is attacked by the Luftwaffe on his way to join his regiment. He hides, injured, in a ditch, and the train leaves without him. He ends up living alone in a small cabin in the woods, until he is warned that the enemy is approaching and he is not longer safe there. He leaves, and stays in a variety of safe houses until he finally makes it to England.

Silvana and Aurek are living in a apartment in Warsaw until German soldiers are billeted there. One of them rapes Silvana and she takes her son and leaves, heading for a nearby forest where they spend the rest of the war living. 

At the end of the war, Silvana and Aurek are located in a refugee camp and travel to England to join Janusz, who has been living there for a number of years now, and needless to say, has cheated on Silvana, not knowing if she were dead or alive.

The story of their wartime experiences and their reuniting in England afterward is told in alternating chapters, each telling their own story. These are harrowing experiences, yet I never really connected to either character. On the whole, I was very disappointed by this book and although I think the writing is wonderful but the story and characters left a lot to be desired.

This book is recommended for readers age 16+
This book was an EARC received from NetGalley

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