Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley

Genre: Memoir/Non-Fiction
Publication Date: 24th June 2013
Pages: 288
Book Source: Penguin Aust & NetGalley

Synopsis: When Saroo Brierley used Google Earth to find his long-lost home town half a world away, he made global headlines. Saroo had become lost on a train in India at the age of five. Not knowing the name of his family or where he was from, he survived for weeks on the streets of Kolkata, before being taken into an orphanage and adopted by a couple in Australia.

Despite being happy in his new family, Saroo always wondered about his origins. He spent hours staring at the map of India on his bedroom wall. When he was a young man the advent of Google Earth led him to pour over satellite images of the country for landmarks he recognised. And one day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for.

Then he set off on a journey to find his mother.
A Long Way Home is a moving and inspirational true story of survival and triumph against incredible odds. It celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit – hope.
My Thoughts:
I recently watched Saroo's inspirational story on 60 Minutes and was so emotionally moved that when I saw his book on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it. 

In 1986 a 5 year old Indian boy became lost, a train ride and 1800 kilometres separating him from his family and home town. Surviving the streets of Calcutta at such a young age was nothing short of a miracle but Saroo was blessed with more than one miracle. Taken in by Mrs Sood of the Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption (ISSA) and adopted by the Brierley's a remarkable Australian couple from Tasmania. 

The motto of the ISSA ... is: "Somewhere a child is waiting. Somewhere a family is waiting. We at ISSA bring them together."

Encouraged by the love of his Australian family, his own belief, unwavering tenacity and Google Earth, Saroo was reunited with his dear mother and Indian family, 25 years after being separated. 

I found the television piece particularly touching, obviously time constraints limited coverage so it was interesting, although not quite as emotionally compelling to read Saroo's detailed story. A Long Way Home is a very simply written recount of Saroo's memories and amazing against-the-odds journey. What a truly joyful outcome!

Connect with Saroo Brierley 


  1. So cool that he actually did find them

  2. Wow!! In some cases technology really paid off! I am sure I would be sobbing through that 60 Minutes program and the book sounds pretty great!

    1. Technology and phenomenal persistence ... it really was one of those rare feel-good endings.

  3. That's such an amazing life story. I probably would have just accepted where I was and never tried to find family - I might be lazy. :)

    1. LOL Mardel, I don't think I would have persevered for as long as Saroo did.


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