13 March, 2015

A long way home by Saroo Brierley [Suneeta, Highland Park Library]

1987.  A five year old boy from a poor, uneducated family, living in a small town in India gets totally and utterly lost on a train. Separated from his brother on the journey, he tries to find his way back home, but unable to read, unaware of the name of his town or even his own last name, he is cut off from his loved ones and his life is altered forever.

Flash forward 25 years; meet Saroo, now 30 years old, a naturalised Aussie and businessman transplanted into a secure, middle-class environment, happy with his loving adopted family, living a busy, productive life.   But through the intervening years his longing to understand what happened to him before that life-changing train journey makes him search for ways to reconstruct the circumstances he was born into and reconnect with his birth family. 

Miraculously, through the internet, a small crew of friends and the adoption agency that helped him, he is able to find his way back and meet up with the family. There sadly, he find out that his brother never returned from that  trip either and was found dead a few weeks later. Having lost one son, his mother, for several years travelled up and down to neighbouring towns in search of her “Sheru” and refused several times to move away from the house they all had lived in, in the hope that he would one day return.

Very few people have lived life as Saroo Brierley has and he tells his story with simplicity and honesty, sans sentimentality. This feel-good story of determination and triumph which attracted global media attention has all the right ingredients to be adapted to film and not surprisingly, one is underway.

Watch a short clip of Saroo Brierly at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXEvZ8B04bE

Title: A long way home
Author: Saroo Brierley with Larry Buttrose
ISBN: 9780399169281
Published: 2014
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons

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