Sunday, June 5, 2011

22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson

I won this book as a First Reads book from Goodreads.

This book is about  a young Polish couple who fall in love right before WWII begins. They get married and Silvana becomes pregnant and gives birth to a boy named Aurek.  Janusz is her husband and soon after his son is born, he leaves to join up with the army.  On his way to his post, the train he is riding on comes under fire from the Germans. The Germans open fire on the to-be soldiers that are taking a break outside the train.  Janusz hits his head on a rock and passes out, missing the train as it departs.  He meets up with another soldier who was left behind and is convinced to walk to find his company with him. He eventually ends up in Italy where he falls in love, leaves Italy to come to Britain and buys a house so that he can have something when the red cross finds his wife and child.

Meanwhile, Silvana, trying to escape the war, takes her young son and makes a trek from Warsaw, trying to get back to where Janusz's parents and her parents live.  She travels and hides in the forest, living in the forest until the red cross finds her and sends her to Brittain to meet with Janusz.  There is so much more to this book: betrayal, lies, lost love that stands the test of time, etc.

This is not a very happy book, but it is a book that draws you in and shows a brief snippet of what some people had to do to survive the war. I love how the author makes you feel like you know these people, showing a bit of the sorrow, fear, uncertainty and betrayal of trust.  There are a few twists in this book; things that I didn't expect to happen.  The happy ending is there, you just have to see the struggle to get to it.

Very good book, I would recommend it to anyone. I will be looking for more books from this author!

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