At the end of the Second World War, Silvana and eight-year-old Aurek board the ship that will take them from Poland to England. After living wild in the forests for years, carrying a terrible secret, all Silvana knows is that she and Aurek are survivors. Everything else is lost. Waiting in Ipswich is Silvana's husband Janusz, who has not seen his wife and son for six years. He has found his family a house and works hard planting a proper English garden to welcome them. But the six years apart have changed them all. To make a real home, Silvana and Janusz will have to come to terms with what happened during the war, accept that each is different, and allow their beloved but wild son Aurek to be who he truly is.
22 Britannia Road is a beautiful story about the lengths to which a family will go to heal itself. Told in lyrical prose with sharp dialogue and precise detail, we are brought into a world emerging from catastrophe and into a family that will do anything to protect itself. (Reviewed by Sarah Sacha Dollacker).
Hodgkinson's debut is an eloquent, heart-wrenching account of one couple's struggle to reunite as a family after devastating wartime experiences... A stellar example of literary WWII fiction.
Starred Review. [S]killfully toggling between the war and its aftermath with wonderfully descriptive prose that pulls the reader into a sweeping tale of survival and redemption.
Starred Review. Fans of novels like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and Sarah's Key, who can never have too much of a good war story, will warm to this fine debut.
Starred Review. Hodgkinson enters boldly into well-trodden, sensitive territory and distinguishes herself with freshness and empathy.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by bobbie d Escape About escaping the Germans from Warsaw. I thought it was a well-written book and it held my interest. Read it over a year ago.
Rated of 5
by Lynne Hersh Stunning Read Amanda Hodgkinson has written a gem of a book! Her use of language compels the reader to continue to actively think while reading the story. What evils did the characters witness during the war? Why are they so reluctant to speak of the experiences... Read More
In Amanda Hodgkinson's 22 Britannia Road, Silvana and Janusz are plunged into war when Germany invades Poland in 1939. Though the invasion catches them (and their real-life counterparts) by surprise, Polish-German relations had been increasingly strained since the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which redrew European borders at the end of World War I in 1919. A German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact, signed in 1934, had promised to keep relations between the two countries cordial, but, among other reasons, Germany's unwillingness to cede the Polish Corridor, per terms of the Treaty of Versailles, strained diplomacy.
As Hitler gained power, he focused his vision of a hegemonic Germany, taking territories from surrounding countries to create a "living space" that would expand "Greater Germany." An obvious choice was the Polish Corridor, a splice of land that belonged to Poland and cut East Prussia off...
Kenn Nesbitt is new Children's Poet Laureate(Jun 12 2013) Kenn Nesbitt has been named the new Children's Poet Laureate: Consultant in Children's Poetry to the Poetry Foundation, which noted that the two-year position...