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#384 ~ 22 Britannia Road

22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson

Published by: Penguin

Published on: April 28, 2011

Page Count: 336

Genre: Historical Fiction

My Reading Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible.com

Audiobook Published by: Penguin Audiobooks

Narrator: Robin Sachs

Audiobook Length: 11 hours 19 minutes

Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook


My Review

Janusz and Silvana are  a young married couple when Janusz goes off to fight as WWII  breaks out in Poland. Silvana was left behind to care for their infant son, Aurek. To escape both the Germans and the Russians, she learns how to survive in the wilderness with her son. When the two are rescued from a refuge camp and brought to Ipswich to be reunited with Janusz after the war, both husband and wife are hopeful of once again being happy, but  they each have secrets that make it difficult to easily piece their family back together.

This novel alternates between Janusz and Silvana together in post-war England and the past in Poland for each character separately. As they try to build a new life and recapture their relationship, the reader is introduced slowly to the events and secrets that shaped them while they were apart. This structure worked well for me. It built tension and peaked my curiosity. I did find Silvana to be more difficult to wrap myself around, so the sections focusing Janusz were essential. It was because of him that I was able to care about Silvana and Aurek. They were broken characters, but something solid came in between me and them that prevented compassion from taking over. Were it not for Janusz, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the book.

It was a pleasure to experience this novel through Robin Sachs’ narration. He has such a comforting voice, yet it lends itself well to mystery and human pain. I may never be able to spell Janusz without assistance, but I can still hear Sachs say his name in my memory. After now listening to his narration of 22 Britannia Road and The Last Werewolf, I truly appreciate how versatile Robin  Sachs is. If you’ve yet to listen to one of his audiobooks, I strongly suggest it. His is a voice you’ll not soon forget.

22 Britannia Road is a novel about the impact of secrets on lovers and families. It is also a story about the strength of the human spirit during war and its aftermath. While I didn’t love Amanda Hodgkinson’s debut novel, I certainly enjoyed it. I hope to read excellent things from her in the future.

12 Comments

  • At 2012.01.05 08:14, Chrisbookarama said:

    I didn’t totally love this one either but Sach’s voice was very soothing.

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    • At 2012.01.05 09:10, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

      That sounds like an amazing book. I’m sure it was difficult for many couples to get back what they once had after the trauma of that war.

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      • At 2012.01.05 11:06, Anna said:

        I’m looking forward to reading this book, though now I’m really curious about the audio version! Will link to your review on War Through the Generations.

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        • At 2012.01.05 11:11, Beth Hoffman said:

          I’ve had this book on my list since it was released and can’t wait to read it!

          • At 2012.01.05 12:23, Amy said:

            This book sounds intriguing to me and I’m really interested in what happenes between the couple when they are reunited. There are a lot of books written about and around WWII but this one sounds a little different to me.

            I enjoyed your review and am curious to see what I think about Janusz and Silvana!

            • At 2012.01.05 12:39, Anita said:

              I keep looking at this book, if only for the cover alone I feel drawn to it. I think I might check my library for the audio. Thanks for a great review!

              • At 2012.01.05 13:37, Kailana said:

                I have been curious about this book since it was released but haven’t felt the need to rush out and read it… Maybe one day…

                • At 2012.01.05 22:28, Marg said:

                  I read this one too and I was kind of underwhelmed by it, mainly because it was difficult to relate to the characters and the choices they made.

                  • At 2012.01.06 08:39, JoAnn said:

                    I do love that cover! Have had the book on my audible.com wish list for ages…

                    • At 2012.01.07 00:29, amanda (tnrunner66) said:

                      It’s funny you mention the spelling. I listened to the audio as well and I can still here Robin Sachs saying the names but had I read it in print I would have NEVER gotten the pronunciations even close. I think I liked this one more than you did but agree totally with what you said about the narration.

                      • […] #384 ~ 22 Britannia Road (literatehousewife.com) […]

                        • At 2012.01.25 07:29, Laurie C said:

                          You had me at “Robin Sachs”! 😉

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