Lion, by Saroo Brierley

An almost incredible but true story, told in a rather unemotional, matter-of-fact manner. Hardly old enough to know who he is and with no idea where he comes from, 5 year old Saroo finds himself trapped in a railway carriage, which ends up taking him to the sprawling, stinking, merciless city of Calcutta. What will his dear mother, his worldly-wise brothers and the baby sister he should be looking after think has happened to him? Will they care?

After several close scrapes with the river and unscrupulous railway workers,Saroo is taken to the police, then to a home for juvenile delinquents and finally to someone who does care. Saroj Sood of the Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption takes him in and, after a vain attempt to trace his mother, arranges for him to be adopted in Tasmania.

Growing up as any other Australian, Saroo never forgets his mother and the streets be roamed as a child, but has no way of tracing his roots. Until he discovers Google Earth. Emotional struggles and evening after evening of painfully meticulous searching eventually and almost miraculously bear fruit and the mystery is solved. Saroo discovers where he’s from.

Now 30 years old, we witness his encounter with his birth mother, surviving brother and little sister.

Although the events are quite dramatic at times and we do long for Saroo’s yearning to be fulfilled, this story is related with little passion and leaves us with some unanswered questions.

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