29 Jun 2018

#Review: LION by Saroo Brierly


Author: Saroo Brierly
Series: N/A
Source: Audiobook via Audible
Publisher: Penguin Books Canada
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara, this #1 international best-seller tells the miraculous and triumphant story of a young man who rediscovers not only his childhood life and home...but an identity long-since left behind.

At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia. 

Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. Eventually, with the advent of Google Earth, he had the opportunity to look for the needle in a haystack he once called home, and pore over satellite images for landmarks he might recognize or mathematical equations that might further narrow down the labyrinthine map of India. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.
This was Audible's Deal of the Day, so I purchased it to listen. I finished it in a day!

Note: I know this was originally titled something different before the movie, but if you thought I wouldn't take advantage of being able to put Dev Patel on my blog, you don't know me at all.

I felt like this was both too long and too short. There was a lot of interesting aspects to this one but I felt like Saroo wasn't the best writer and it could have been a stronger prose to this one.

That being said, there is a lot of great understanding of adoption, especially inter-country adoption and how this shapes people. I think it is a great story and it did make me cry so there's that.

I liked a lot of the cultural aspect. It was interesting to see how different Saroo's life was in India compared to how it was in Australia and the type of life he was afforded as compared to his siblings that stayed in India. I think Saroo had a good grasp on how life changed for him and came to an understanding about what it meant for him.

I really connected to this story - I was adopted so it was nice to have another story about someone who was adopted. Obviously our stories are different but it still allowed me to relate to Saroo and his plight. Even though I had a personal connection, I think this was written in a way that anyone could relate to Saroo and understand his story.

I am not sure I would have spent the full amount on this one, especially for the audiobook, but it was still a good story. I think if you do decide to pick it up, you won't be disappointed. 

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