Lion : a long way home, by Saroo Brierly

May 12, 2017

Review by Reid Dye

Saroo Brierley was born in a poor village in Khandwa, India, where he lived with his siblings and mother for five years in a small one room hut.  Then he got lost on a train, and found himself as an uneducated child stranded on the streets of Calcutta.  Later, he finds himself as an adopted child in Hobart, Australia, and then, twenty-five years after getting lost, he finds his way back home with the help of Google Earth.  This book is the story of what happened in between.

As Saroo shares his amazing account of his early life, we can clearly see that some of his story’s strengths are his description of emotion, great similes, and how well it shows the author’s perseverance.  One example of how great his description of emotions is is when he first meets his mother when he finds his home.  The book says, “We looked at each other for a second longer, and I felt a sharp stab of grief that it could take a mother and son even a few moments to simply recognize each other and then a rush of joy that we now had.”  This sentence only describes one thing that he felt, yet it says so much and made it so clear what he was feeling.  The second thing that makes this book as great as it is would be the great similes that it uses.  For example, it says, “the happiness in my heart was as deep as the sea.”  This is a great simile because it describes what it’s supposed to really well, and you can really clearly see the connection between the two things being compared.  A third and final reason that I liked this book so much is how well the book portrays Saroo’s perseverance.  It shows this when he is on the streets of Calcutta and suffered many setbacks everyday and when he is in Australia searching for his home on Google Earth.  During his Google Earth search, he would often spend five to seven hours at a time on his computer, and even still it took him eight months of searching almost daily before he found his home.  Between these three major reasons, it is very clear why I rated this book five out of five stars.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone, even if you tend to not like biographies.

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