Title: Lion (previously published as “A Long Way Home”)
Author: Saroo Brierley with Larry Buttrose
Audio book narrator: Vikas Adam
Dates read: 26/01/18 – 28/01/18
The story of Saroo Brierley’s journey from living on the streets in Kolkata, to being adopted by an Australian couple in 1987 and then finding the village where he was born on Google Earth twenty-five years later is a fascinating one.
Brierley describes in great detail what it was like as a six-year-old in a poverty-stricken family in a tiny Indian village, and I felt his fear when he described realising he was trapped on a train speeding away from his home town. I also loved his insights into life as an adoptee and how even as a six-year-old, there were cultural differences that he had to get used to. It was interesting how his parents coped with some of these difference as well.
I listened to this straight off the back of another memoir, The Hospital by the River by Catherine Hamlin, and the writing in this one is far less disjointed. I did Vikas Adams’ narration of the audio version a bit distracting, though mostly because I couldn’t place his accent. My best guess was that he was English and lived in Australia for a while before settling in America. Turns out he’s Canadian, so I don’t know if that has any bearing on the fact that he sounded a bit English and a bit Australian as well.
Still, that won’t even be an issue if you are reading the physical book. This is a fascinating story and I definitely recommend it.