Friday, October 28, 2011
Sweeping Historical Novel: 22 Britannia Road
22 Britannia Road
By Amanda Hodgkinson
This is the story of a newly married Polish couple, Janusz and his wife Silvana. Both swept up by the war, Janusz must leave his newly married wife and child Aurek, and report for duty. They are separated during the war.
Silvana and their son Aurek are forced to flee their home. They are forced into hiding in places you wouldn't dream of. They were forced to go from place to place and hope for the best. At times they were kept safe. But, toward the end of the war they were forced into the forest to live like animals.
Then, in alternating chapters we learn that Janusz is is hurt and separated from his unit. A family finds him, and their beautiful daughter, Helene nursing him back to health. They both fall in love. You don't find out what happens to Helene till the end of the story.
Janusz reaches England and asks the Red Cross to find his family. The Red Cross brings them to England and they are reunited.
Both Silvana and Janusz want to move on and forgot their past, and move on to 22 Britannia Road. But, it is not possible till they can forgive each other and accept what each one has done and heal each other, separately, and together.
Most of the story I can't devulged without ruining the story. I will tell you there are alot of twists and turns and surprises. The entire book played out like a movie in my mind.
One part of the story I was upset what happened. I thought to myself no mother would do that. But, once I was immersed in the story, and got deeper and drew me in, I forgot about it, and got over it.
In the beginning I did not care for the characters, but once I was captivated. I was just swept in by the story. Something like, "Calgon take me away". I think the story became more important than the character flaws.
What worked was the alternating time of place of Janusz and Silvana in Poland, and then in England.
I was very surprised reading this. I thought it would be a literary read. But, it was I felt a mixed bag of things, and I can't put my finger on it. But, it worked and I enjoyed reading 22 Britannia Road.