Review: Britannia Road 22, Amanda Hodgkinson

Britannia Road 22 Amanda Hodgkinson cover
Silvana and Janusz have only been married a few months when the war forces them apart. Silvana and their infant son, Aurek, leave the city of Warshaw and disappear into the forests of Eastern Europe, trying to stay out of German hands and survive the war. Meanwhile Janusz, the sole survivor of his slaughtered military unit, flees to France. There he falls in love with a local girl but when the Germans approach he goes to England to serve in the army there. Wise words of the fiance of his best friend make that after the war he decides to look for his family and when Silvana and Aurek arrive in England they try to pick up their lives. Between his love for this other woman and her secret Silvana and Janusz learn that they might have survived a war but there is a whole other struggle after.

Amanda Hodgkinson is a British writer and journalist who grew up in a small Essex fishing village before moving to Suffolk, and attending the University of East Anglia. She now lives and works in south west France with her husband Guy and their two daughters. For more information on Amanda Hodgkinson visit her site at

I bought the ebook in January of this year after I saw it in the bookstore knowing I had to have it and read this book. But than I got caught up with other books and kept postponing this one. At the beginning of September I was visiting Manuscripta (a book convention in the Netherlands) and the author of this book was going to be there. Still I did not find time enough to fit this book in. The author would sign her book on Sunday so I bought myself a paperback version on the Saturday. That evening I was thinking to just read the book so I could say something smart but than I thought that this story deserves way more attention than I could give at that moment. So totally blank I approached the author on Sunday asking her to sign my book. And I am happy I chose to wait reading it cause this book does deserve the attention.

There are a lot of things happening in the book. There is the war story where people make choices to survive. But what I found more interesting was the approach of the author on the aftermath of the war. What does one tell a loved one when you have been forced apart so long? When you might feel like you betrayed them to stay alive? Or even what do you share with people in your surrounding? My grandparents never wanted to talk about the war. Only on very few occasions they made a remark which gave you an idea about what happened, but just a really small idea. Today you hear all the stories of soldiers coming back home and not being able to adjust anymore to their old lives. Not understanding anymore why things are important. I think the author only touched the tip of an iceberg with this story, concentrating on how two people manage to be together again and making the rest of their lives fairly easy with the way they picked up work but she did touch a very sensitive and actual problem with this book.

Unfortunately as said before she keeps the adjustment problems fairly small ad I am not really sure what I feel about the characters. I had a hard time really feeling them and was not able to really attach myself to one or more of them.
Still I think everybody should read this book to start a wave of realization that if the traumatizing event is not present anymore a person cannot go back to the way things were.

Britannia Road 22
Author: Amanda Hodgkinson
Publisher: Orlando Uitgevers
ISBN-10: 9022959872
ISBN-13: 9789022959879
Pages: 374
Format: Paperback
Orlando Uitgevers: eBook (Dutch)
Waterstones: Paperback (English)

3 stars
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