22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson

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Synopsis

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

"Housekeeper or housewife?" the soldier asks Silvana as she and eight- year-old Aurek board the ship that will take them from Poland to England at the end of World War II. There her husband, Janusz, is already waiting for them at the little house at 22 Britannia Road. But the war has changed them all so utterly that they'll barely recognize one another when they are reunited. "Survivor," she answers.

Silvana and Aurek spent the war hiding in the forests of Poland. Wild, almost feral Aurek doesn't know how to tie his own shoes or sleep in a bed. Janusz is an Englishman now-determined to forget Poland, forget his own ghosts from the way, and begin a new life as a proper English family. But for Silvana, who cannot escape the painful memory of a shattering wartime act, forgetting is not a possibility.

One of the most searing debuts to come along in years, 22 Britannia Road. is the wrenching chronicle of how these damaged people try to become, once again, a true family. An unforgettable novel that cries out for discussion, it is a powerful story of primal maternal love, overcoming hardship, and, ultimately, acceptance-one that will pierce your heart.
 

About Amanda Hodgkinson

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AMANDA HODGKINSON was born in Burnham-on-Sea, England, and earned an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia. She now lives with her husband and two daughters in a farmhouse in the southwest of France. This is her first novel.
 
Published April 28, 2011 by Penguin Books. 324 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for 22 Britannia Road

Kirkus Reviews

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As war approaches, Janusz joins up, expecting Silvana and their son Aurek to move in with his parents, but these plans are disrupted and Silvana ends up foraging in the forest alongside other survivors while Janusz embarks on a trek through Hungary and France to England.

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The New York Times

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In this first novel, a couple shattered by World War II struggle to start anew.

Jun 03 2011 | Read Full Review of 22 Britannia Road

Publishers Weekly

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In her powerful debut, Hodgkinson takes on the tale of a family desperately trying to put itself back together after WWII.

Feb 28 2011 | Read Full Review of 22 Britannia Road

Examiner

22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson is a fiction novel about a couple originally from Poland that reunites in Britian after World War II.

May 19 2011 | Read Full Review of 22 Britannia Road

Book Reporter

While Silvana wants her son to have a life with two parents, Aurek views his father with mistrust and fear.

May 02 2011 | Read Full Review of 22 Britannia Road

Dallas News

Reunited after six years of separation during wartime, Janusz tells his wife, Silvana, that no matter how much they have changed, they’re still the same people inside.

Aug 05 2011 | Read Full Review of 22 Britannia Road

Washington Independent Review of Books

One can only hope that should 22 Britannia Road ever be made into a movie, an actress of the stature of Meryl Streep can be found to play the role of Silvana Nowak, the singular Polish mother whose devotion to her child during and after World War II is beautifully rendered by Hodgkinson.

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Gather Books

Therefore, Silvana's story of her experiences during the War is told separately from Janusz's story of his experiences at the same time.

Dec 01 2011 | Read Full Review of 22 Britannia Road

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

War experiences emerge in alternating points of view from Janusz and Sylvana, while the passages in the present encompass all three points of view.

Jun 03 2011 | Read Full Review of 22 Britannia Road

Bookmarks Magazine

Lawrence De Maria NY Times Book Review 3.5 of 5 Stars "It is Hodgkinson's portrait of the primal bond between mother and child, her visceral understanding of the gorgeous, terrible weight of love mothers must carry, war or no war, secret or no secret, that leaves an indelible impression."

May 10 2011 | Read Full Review of 22 Britannia Road

Curious Book Fans

The more serious and disturbing scenes in the novel are alternated with a little social comedy, such as the scenes showing Janusz and Silvana getting to know their neighbours in Ipswich, who are sometimes kind, but at other times show a lack of understanding and imagination, particularly Silvana,...

Jun 08 2011 | Read Full Review of 22 Britannia Road

Booked Solid

However, there are twenty-eight other copies in the Library system, and it’s available as an e-book and an audio-book on our downloadable site, so check out a copy and join me in 1946.

Jan 14 2012 | Read Full Review of 22 Britannia Road

Reader Rating for 22 Britannia Road
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