Tuesday, May 24, 2011

22 Britannia Road - Book Review

Polish immigrant Janusz has established a home at 22 Britannia Road in Ipswich and he eagerly waits to be joined by his wife Sylvana and young son Aurek who have survived World War II by hiding in the forests of Poland. Thus begins the story in Amanda Hodgkinson's new novel 22 Britannia Road.

Janusz, Sylvana and Aurek are survivors. They are anxious to begin their lives again. But peacetime does not erase all the memories and theya all have scars and secrets that threaten to tear them apart when they've just reunited.

Aurek, who doesn't remember his father and has just spent the last six years alone with his mother, is jealous of his father as he takes his rightful place in his mother's bed. The jealousy and attempts at rebuilding a relationship, remind me of Frank O'Connor's short story by the appropriate title of "My Oedipus Complex".

22 Britannia Road is a powerful family drama full of betrayals, suffering yet ultimately forgiveness and redemption. Hodgkinson writes with wisdom and with a skill that makes her style completely disappear and the story and characters take over. Her characters are painfully human. As with other well written books about the fall-out from war, 22 Britannia Road is emotionally stirring and a compelling read.

I received a free copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.


Ammon and Jen said...

You know what I would love--a website for adults to find out what the content of books they are interested in reading is. You have told us about one for kids, and there are several for movies. I think you should start one! Do your usual review and then tack on the end if it contains violence, sexual content, swearing, disturbing whatevers. I would love it and you are already kind of doing it...

Mom of 12 said...

How do you possibly find time to read???