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Literary Friday: 22 Britannia Road

Friday, December 2, 2011


This week I read 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson.  It is about the horrors of World War II and Hitler's invasion of Poland in particular.  The plot includes survival, betrayal, and ultimately, hope.

Janusk Nowak is separated from his wife, Silvana, and their baby son, Aurek, as Hitler invades Poland.  He is trying to enlist in the Polish Army to fight the Nazis, but an air strike delays him. When it becomes clear that if Janusz remains in Poland he will be killed, he joins Bruno and Franuk in a trek across Europe to join the British Armed Forces.

Meanwhile, Silvana (who is named appropriately) attempts to make it to her village outside of Warsaw.  The bus runs out of gas, and the encroaching Soviet and Nazi soldiers force her and Aurek to hide in the forest for years. At the end of the war, they are found by British soldiers who help reunite them with Janusz back in England.

Janusz buys a bungalow in the village of Ipswich on the eastern coast while his family is traveling to meet him.  He immediately embraces all things British.  He is determined to become the quintessential English family, but what he had not counted on is a wild, feral son and a wife he hardly recognizes.  Both Janusz and Silvana have dark secrets from the war and very deep emotional scars.

Although this book is difficult, it is an excellent story.  I must admit I was stunned by Silvana's secret which was not revealed until 3/4 through the book.  Hodgkinson is an excellent writer, but she uses simile and metaphor extensively.  They were VERY GOOD similes and metaphors, so I started looking for them which became distracting.  I love the ending; it is brilliant!

Since it's the Christmas season, I am going to *try* to read happy books. Although 22 Britannia Road ends happily, it about killed me getting there!

What have you been reading this week?

Until next time...

Happy Reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. this sounds interesting for sure, I just finished snow flower and the secret fan, I really enjoy most of Lisa See's work,

  2. Oh sounds so good1 I wanna know the secret know too!

  3. THis looks like a book I will enjoy. I have ordered it for reading on-line through our local library.
    We lived near Ipswich when we lived in England.

  4. Looks like another awesome read!!!

  5. I love the cover and time period and that fact they are Polish (as am I) but I cannot read books that sad. I am a fluff and lighthearted reader. I know I should be ashamed to admit but I don't like books that are hard to get through or depressing. What does this mean about me???

  6. Not a happy book to read but one I think I might find interesting, so will be adding to my wishlist after reading your review.

  7. Maybe I will save this one for after the Christmas season. :)

  8. Hmmm...I think I could get through it and enjoy it knowing you said that it ends well.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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