MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson

22 Britannia Road

A Novel

by Amanda Hodgkinson

22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson X
22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2011, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2012, 336 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A tour de force that echoes modern classics like Suite Francaise and The Postmistress.

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.

SPRING 1946. TO ENGLAND.

The boy was everything to her. Small and unruly, he had a nervy way about him like a wild creature caught in the open. All the dark hearts of the lost, the found, and the never forgotten lived in his child's body, in his quick eyes. She loved him with the same unforgiving force that pushes forests from the deep ground, but still she feared it was not enough to keep him. So she was taking him to England, determined that Janusz would love him and keep him safe.

On the ship's sailing list she was named as Silvana Nowak. Twenty-seven years old. Married. Mother of a son, Aurek Josef, aged seven years.

"What is your profession?" the British soldier asked her, checking the identity papers she put before him.

She looked at the documents on his desk and saw pages of women's names. All were listed as housewives or housekeepers.

Behind her, hundreds more women, dressed as she was in donated clothes, stood silently with their children. Above the soldier's...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. On the ship to England, Silvana is asked if she's a housekeeper or housewife. Why does this question jar her?

  2. Aurek thinks of Janusz as "the enemy." How do his feelings change over the course of the book, and why?

  3. Hodgkinson toggles back and forth from the past to the present in this novel. How does telling the story in this particular way affect the experience for the reader? Could she have told it in any other way?

  4. Janusz longs for an English life. What are some of the things he does to try to adapt and assimilate to his new homeland?

  5. The relationship between Silvana and Janusz and their English neighbors Doris and Gilbert is complicated. Do you believe they are genuinely friends?

  6. Silvana is obsessed with discarded ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

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...continued

Full Review (675 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Sarah Sacha Dollacker).

Media Reviews

Booklist
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.

Publishers Weekly
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.

Library Journal
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.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Hodgkinson enters boldly into well-trodden, sensitive territory and distinguishes herself with freshness and empathy.

Reader Reviews

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

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.

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked 22 Britannia Road, try these:

  • Wake jacket

    Wake

    by Anna Hope

    Published 2016

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Anna Hope's brilliant debut unfolds over the course of five days, as three women must deal with the aftershocks of World War I and its impact on the men in their lives.

  • The Spy Who Loved jacket

    The Spy Who Loved

    by Clare Mulley

    Published 2014

    About this book

    Acclaimed biographer Clare Mulley tells the extraordinary story of Britain's first female special agent of World War II, a charismatic, difficult, fearless, and altogether extraordinary woman.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Book of Longings
    The Book of Longings
    by Sue Monk Kidd
    The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd follows the life of Ana, a woman born in the Galilean city of ...
  • Book Jacket: Master Class
    Master Class
    by Christina Dalcher
    Christina Dalcher's Master Class shows America sleepwalking into a perfectionist eventuality not ...
  • Book Jacket: How to Pronounce Knife
    How to Pronounce Knife
    by Souvankham Thammavongsa
    Many examples of immigrant fiction dedicate a portion of their storytelling to exploring details of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Easy Part of Impossible
    The Easy Part of Impossible
    by Sarah Tomp
    Teenager Ria Williams is a skilled diver. She is on track to compete at the Olympic level, but ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Prisoner's Wife
    by Maggie Brookes

    Inspired by the true story of a courageous young woman who enters a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Daughter of the Reich
    by Louise Fein

    A spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Paris Hours
by Alex George

One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The House on Fripp Island

The House on Fripp Island
by Rebecca Kauffman

A taut, page-turning novel of secrets and strife.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

B I T T Water

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.