Lion by Saroo Brierley
Rating: ★★★★ // Riveting and heartwarming story.
First Line: “They’ve gone.”
I liked this book much more than I was expecting to. As I’ve said before I usually don’t prefer memoir like books, but Lion, originally titled “A Long Way Home: A Memoir” was very good.
Following the story of Saroo, a young Indian man living in Australia who finally decides to dedicate all his extra time and energy into finding his family, whom he was separated from at the age of 5.
After getting lost, Saroo jumped around until he ended up in a home and was quickly (compared to other children) adopted by an Australian couple. It wasn’t until he was in college that he started thinking about finding his family back in India, and it wasn’t until after had graduated and working full time that he really put all his effort into finding his home.
Aside from being well-written, which it is, this story really tugs at the heartstrings and emphasizes the importance of families and relationships are in life.
“We all reach a point as young adults when we wonder what we should be doing with our lives—or, at the very least, which direction to point ourselves in. Beyond the means to get by, we need to think about what’s most important to us. Not surprisingly, I discovered that for me the answer was family.”
I found one of my favorite aspects of the book was the relationship between Saroo and his adoptive parents. Not once were they upset or jealous when Saroo focused on finding his family, which had to be difficult for them. Instead they were supportive, encouraging, and helpful when they needed to be. Saroo, for his part, was also very in-tune to how they must feel and he treated the situation well. This aspect was unexpected in the book, because I expected there to be some sort of drama, but it really didn’t show up, which was a nice surprise.
“Adoptees, whether or not they ever knew their birth parents, often describe the constant, gnawing feeling of there being something missing: without a connection, or at least the knowledge of where they are from, they feel incomplete.”
I recommend this book, not if your looking for excitement, but if your looking for strength in the human condition. I can’t yet vouch for the movie adaptation, but it has gotten pretty decent reviews and I look forward to watching it.