Lion - Saroo Brierley

Wednesday 14 February 2018



Genre: Autobiography
Published: 24th June 2013
How long did it take me to read: 4 days

Happy Valentine's day!
I was going to do an extremely Valentines day themed post with hearts everywhere, but then I decided that I'd rather talk about something a little different. I have been with my boyfriend for a while and I am in love with him every single day, rather than one day out of the year. Yes, we are celebrating Valentine's day, we are going for dinner and we are going to see the Black Panther film (I am very excited!). However, I think Valentine's day is more than just the love you have for your partner. It is the love you have for your best friends, your pets, your family and your extended family. So instead of posting a lovey-dovey post, I decided to review a book about self-discovery, self-love and celebrating the love of having two families that adore you in return. I hope you enjoy.

Lion is an autobiographical novel which focuses on Saroo, a young Indian boy who leaves his home in Ganesh Talai, only to get lost after taking a train which he thought would take him home. After Saroo arrives in Calcutta station and realising that he doesn't know where he is, he begins to live in the station for two weeks, salvaging food from the floor and sleeping on the station benches. At this point, Saroo is only five years old meaning he witnesses some unsavoury events that he remembers until his adulthood. Saroo spends a couple of months in the city of Calcutta as a homeless child, where he meets a lot of people who don't necessarily want to help him. For example, while living at the station, a railroad worker takes him into his home and gives him a hot meal. However, Saroo gets a weird feeling from this man and proceeds to run away. The railroad worker chases him until he hides away and manages to escape his clutches. A variety of things happen to Saroo and he spends most of his adult life thinking about how slim his chances were of surviving.
Normally, I won't spoil the ending of a book, however, there was wide coverage of this real-life story and also, the ending is stated within the first two pages of the novel.
Eventually, Saroo meets a teenager who hands him over to the authorities. They place him in foster care where he is later adopted by an Australian couple. He spends his whole adulthood looking for his home in India, which is difficult because as a child, he had mispronounced the name of the town he used to live in. So no-one can pinpoint exactly where he has come from.
At the end of the book, he is finally reunited with his mother which was televised by 60 minutes (a tv show).
Although I have actually said what happens at the end of the book, I still highly suggest giving it a read because there is so much more that happens in the novel. But also, you won't cry from my review, but I can almost guarantee you will cry from the story.

I loved this book. For people that know me, a large part of my identity is that my family fosters children. I have strong feelings towards how fostering is publicised. It isn't. I have never seen an advert broadcasting what an amazing option fostering is. But reading this book and hearing how thankful Saroo was for his fostering family was so heart-warming. I know this won't be the case for most people but currently, there is only 44,625 fostering families in the UK which isn't much considering there are 64 million people currently in the UK. 78% of children in Great Britain are or have been in care and that means that the fostering agencies will have to recruit  5,900 more fostering families in order for there to be enough families to support these children (all facts provided by Foster statistics, click the link to find out more). Again, I know this is a very personal reason for a book to mean so much to me and it won't apply to everyone. But it was a strong reason I gave this book five hearts out of five.

Lion was so harrowing to read and as I say with some of the books, I had to make myself a cup of tea and sit down with some biscuits before I could carry on reading. And I don't think I could have got through this book without my Honeywell bakes biscuits. These biscuits were so adorable and tasted amazing alongside a cup of tea. Honeywell Bakes do personalised orders as well as their cute avocado and heart designs. Perfect for this Valentine's day. I'll link their Instagram and shop below so you can hop over there and have a look! This book made me feel every emotion under the sun, so a sweet treat was definitely needed.

I have nothing bad to say about this book. The only thing I wished I had done was to buy the original cover. Having the film cover of books is one of my pet peeves. I always want the original cover, but that just for vanity I guess so it will look nice on my bookshelf. I also haven't watched the film yet, which I must get round to doing. It took me a little bit longer to get through this book than I usually take. But I found myself wanting to take my time, wanting to make the book last. But in turn, I am a strong believer in watching the film after the reading the book. So, because it took me so long to read, I haven't watched the film.

I would only recommend this book to people if they wanted to have a good cry. This book is very sweet and sour, yes he finds his long-lost family, however, he also has to endure being homeless. It will make you feel every emotion, but I still strongly recommend it.

Thank you, Honeywell Bakes!

Check out their website: Honeywell Bakes
Check out their Instagram: Honeywell Bakes Instagram

Keep on reading oxox

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