22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson

22 Britannia Road

A tour de force that echoes modern classics like Suite Francaise and The Postmistress.At the end of the Second World War, Silvana and eight-year-old Aurek board the ship that will take them from Poland to England. After living wild in the forests for years, carrying a terrible secret, all Silvana knows is that she and Aurek are survivors. Everything else is lost. Waiting in Ipswich is Silvana's husband Janusz, who has not seen his wife and son fo...

Details 22 Britannia Road

Title22 Britannia Road
Release DateApr 28th, 2011
PublisherPenguin Group (USA)
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II, European Literature, British Literature, Cultural, Poland

Reviews 22 Britannia Road

  • Susan in NC
    "She is made of the thinnest eggshell, her toughness a veneer. . ." That is the way Janusz describes his wife Silvana as he embraces her; the scene is about two-thirds through the book and seems to be the first insightful thing he thinks about her. I chose this book from the Amazon Vine program because it sounded like a wonderful, moving premise for a novel, but I was disappointed. I expected it to be sad, but I also expected to feel for and empa...
  • Book Concierge
    Audiobook narrated by Robin SachsAt the end of World War II, Silvana and her seven-year-old son Aurek board a ship that will take them to England, where her husband, Janusz, waits for them. As the war escalated, he had joined the Polish Army, leaving his wife and infant son behind. Then Warsaw was bombed and Silvana fled to the forest with Aurek. Now he has settled in England. He wants nothing more than for them to become a proper English family,...
  • Teresa Lukey
    22 Britannia Road was most definitely a pleasant surprise for me. There are so many books out there relating to WWII and sometimes I think there can possibly be anymore to contemplate regarding WWII, but, again, this book has proven me wrong. The scope of people affected by WWII is hard to grasp, but definitely a reality.In this story, a newlywed couple and there infant son are separated when Poland is invaded by German forces and must go to war ...
  • Jeanette
    Ex-AS-perating! Could have been so much more.The writing was actually decent enough that I could have given it three stars, but by the time I got to the end I was tearing my hair out in frustration at what she chose to include and what she chose to leave out of the story. I was left with a feeling of pointlessness. 2.5 stars
  • Connie
    Silvana and seven-year-old Aurek are reunited with Janusz, her husband, after World War II. He has settled in England after the war, and his family was found in a refugee camp. Silvana and Janusz have been through separate terrible wartime experiences when Poland was invaded by both German and Russian soldiers. Janusz traveled to safe houses to finally get to England. Silvana and Aurek lived in the forests of Poland, and Aurek has only known a wi...
  • Oana
    Poor little gorgeous prose, it deserved a better book.Beside the solid flowing writing, there is absolutely anything worth remembering about this book. Though WW2 is on of my favorite settings for historical fiction and the premise it’s pretty powerful, the execution lacks in all aspects. It is slow, boring to the core, painfully predictable and basically pointless. And the characters are the absolute worst, they might actually be the most usel...
  • Lydia Laceby
    Reviewed at Novel EscapesThe portrayal of World War II in 22 Britannia Road doesn't hold back, which I really appreciated, but unfortunately I found it came across as emotionally stilted - which maybe was the point. These were characters hardened by war and had lived through torturous years apart when the war separated the recently married couple. But I still couldn't help wanting more. I wanted to empathize and root for these characters and thei...
  • Linda
    1.99 on AmazonI thought this was a powerful debut by Hodgkinson. I enjoyed reading about the struggles of Polish refugees during and after WWII. It moved at a good pace and kept me interested.
  • Felice
    The 22 Britannia Road of the title is the destination for a young family destroyed by WWII. Silvana and Janusz Nowak and their 8 year old son Aurek are Polish refugees. When the novel begins it's 1946 and they are all about to start a new, picket fence life in England. They have been separated since 1939 when Janusz left his wife and son to fight for Poland against the Germans. Each of these spouses then spent the next seven years struggling with...
  • Kathryn
    First sentence: The boy was everything to her.I swore no more World War II books for a long while. This book just kept crossing my path here and there so I finally requested it from the library. It's a bit different than many of the other stories focusing on the war. In this story the war is over and the husband, wife and small son are together again after being apart for six years. Their experiences during the war are horrible yet it's told in s...
  • Wendy Pearl's Picks
    This is such a wonderfully written first novel! I just read it a second time (cover to cover), before hosting a dinner with the author and some Bay area booksellers. It's less of a WWII story than a story of what happens after the war. If you enjoy books like: Sarah's Key, Book Thief, and even the new YA novel, Between Shades of Gray, you'll like this one! This one's gaining fans and "buzz" among independent booksellers across the country!
  • Pam Jenoff
    This remarkable book chronicles the struggle of a Polish woman to make a new life for herself and her son in England in the aftermath of World War II. But her life is crippled by questions: Can she overcome the horrors she has been through to reunite with her husband (whom it now seems she barely knows)? And what really happened during the war? Original, memorable and heartfelt.
  • Chandler
    Currently I search for books about World War II and impact of it on what Tom Brokaw dubbed, “The Greatest Generation”. In my quest, I search for books that look at different aspects, countries and ethnic groups impacted by this war.“22 Britannia Road” by Amanda Hodgkinson has a similar tone to another book I recently enjoyed, “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet”. Since my weakness is history, I am joyful when I learn something ne...
  • Silke
    I remember the first time I actually saw this book in my local bookstore. It called out to me. Maybe it was the picture on the front page, maybe it was the title. I am not quite sure, because I am not very found of books that are set in the war. I left the book in the bookshop. But every other visit it kept calling to me. So eventually I actually took it home with me and boy am I glad I did! This is one of the best books I read this year. Sure th...
  • Regina
    This is a powerful and moving, but sad story about a family torn apart by war. The story moves back and forth in time (pre-WWII, during the war, and after the war), location (Poland, France, crossing the channel, and England) and between three characters – wife/mother, husband/father and child/son. Despite the fact that the story involves very painful topics – death of family members, rape, loss of loved ones, separation, witnessing violent d...
  • Ladyslott
    I’ve read a number of books set during the onset and duration of World War; many of them focus on The Holocaust or the United States involvement in the war. 22 Britannia Road takes a different approach in the story of Janusz, Silvana and their son Aurek.The novel opens with the reunion of the little family six years after they were separated in 1940 when the Germans Army invaded their homeland of Poland. This reunion is not a joyous Hollywood s...
  • Lisa
    This book is just out and as it is a WWII era story I had to read it. It was a good story but didn't grab at me enough to give it a four. I would give it more like a 3.5. It is another sad story about war and how it can so destroy people, both physically and emotionally.This book centers around two Polish survivors of the German invasion of Poland. Living in Warsaw and happily married with a baby boy named Aurek, Silvana and Janusz seem to be on ...
  • Susan Johnson
    War destroys lives. People make choices that don't always make sense. And most of us would do whatever they could to survive. When Poland is invaded Janusz leaves to join the Army and makes absolutely no preparations for his wife and newborn. He does not get them to his parents. He just leaves. Silvana seems to go into some type of protective shell and does nothing. It reminded me of when I was diagnosed with cancer. Somehow your mind shuts down ...
  • Johanna
    This author will be running a writers workshop I'm attending in October and I was very eager to read her debut novel. The verdict? Well, it was good. But not great. I enjoyed it, but I wasn't engrossed by it. There were no images that will forever stick with me, which was a little annoying considering the multitude of opportunities her plot gave her for strong imagery. She seems to write 'faster' than I do, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, bu...
  • Anne
    Really loved this book. It's so difficult to believe that this is a debut novel, the author shows such deftness of touch in telling the story of the reunited Polish family in Ipswich after the war. I read the book in two sittings and found it absolutely unputdownable, so involved did I get with the stories of Janusz, Silvana and Aurek. There are passages telling of the most horrifying privation and wartime cruelty and tragedy, set against the dom...
  • Ingrid
    A well written debut.
  • Laurie
    I loved this book! Heartwrenching with a good ending. I give this one 5 stars.
  • Janice
    I liked that this book dealt with the aftermath of the war and how it affected the relationship of this couple who had been lost to each other for 6 years. You hear the expression, "war destroys lives", but how do you pick up the pieces and move beyond it. This story attempts to do that.
  • Peggy
    I'm wavering between 3.5 and 4 stars, but leaning more towards 4. What I particularly appreciated about this book was the focus on the years right after the war, and the effect the war years and being apart during those years can have on people and their relationships.
  • Nina Draganova
    Една много тъжна история, с относително щастлив край.Доколкото може да бъде щастлив , след всичко изживяно по време на една такава жестока война.Стилът е много странен и това е което не ми хареса.
  • Carol
    This is a wonderful book, I felt like I was in a movie theatre, just sitting back and enjoying the story. I kept imagining a very young Meryl Streep as Silvania. This book is set in 1946 in England but has flashbacks to Poland during WWII. The flashbacks were handled flawlessly so you always knew which character and what place you were going back to. The book opens with Janusz, a Polish immigrant to England trying to immerse himself in English cu...
  • Amy
    Here is a warning: do not read 22 Britannia Road if you want something light and entertaining. Don't read it if you prefer not to think about a book.Amanda Hodgkinson creates some memorable, if occasionally completely unlikeable, characters in 22 Britannia Road. The book opens with Janusz waiting at Victoria Station for his wife and son, some time after the end of WWII. Both husband and wife have changed deeply since the war, and it has been six ...
  • Sally Wessely
    I love to read novels set in postwar England. When I read the back cover of this book while I browsed through the books at a discount warehouse store, I could not resist buying it. The book is advertised as the debut work by Amanda Hodgkinson. Reviews compared it to "Sarah's Key" and "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society." I would have to disagree. You may be fans of those books, but I'm not sure you would enjoy this book as much as thos...
  • Amy
    I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.Regular followers of my reviews know that I have a soft spot for certain types of books: family dramas with a mystery or two, books filled with magical realism, and (lately) WWII dramas. Perhaps this is because there have been quite a few excellent WWII-era novels in the past few years such as THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY, THE POSTMISTRESS and BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY. ...
  • Amy Siggelow
    I won this book as a First Reads book from Goodreads.This book is about a young Polish couple who fall in love right before WWII begins. They get married and Silvana becomes pregnant and gives birth to a boy named Aurek. Janusz is her husband and soon after his son is born, he leaves to join up with the army. On his way to his post, the train he is riding on comes under fire from the Germans. The Germans open fire on the to-be soldiers that are t...