WaywardWoman

Lion
Saroo Brierley

(Previously published as A Long Way Home)

Reviewed by: WaywardWoman
Category: Now A Major Motion Film
Date Read: 26 March 2017
No. Pages: 261
Published: 2013

I am an avid movie watcher and have already seen the movie associated with this book twice. It was an amazing journey, following the life of a young boy, lost and alone, living in an orphanage, then adopted and his struggle to search for his family back home. What makes it all the more intriguing, is that it is a true story.

While I knew nothing of the story before seeing it at the movies, it had a profound impact on me. The life Saroo lives and one in particular, extremely uncomfortable moment, makes you realise just how lucky you are to live in Australia, and grow up with your family.

I was surprised that in both the book and the movie, the young Saroo's story covers about half the text. I had only expected his coverage to be brief.

As is often the case, the book has many more details of the background story along the way, while other things highlighted in the movie are completely glossed over in the book. The book starts with a flash forward, while the book starts in the past.

It is no secret that Saroo finds his original family, but the movie doesn't cover all the places Saroo goes after returning home, or the questions he has, whereas this is a major part of the end of the book. The movie does show the ongoing difficulties his Australian family experience with his adopted Indian brother, and this is made little of in the book.

I hear that an extended version of the movie along with some 12 minutes extra coverage of back story directly from the book is in the process of production. It will be interesting to see the additional parts included.

It is no wonder that Saroo was thrust to the centre of media attention after his story broke.

It is certainly a story of hope, one which everyone should read. I found myself experiencing a wide range of emotions through both the book and the movie.

If you read only one book, or see only one movie this year, Lion should be it. It is an easy, enjoyable and yet heart wrenching read, but is well written and it transforms your way of thinking. In today's world, there needs to more of this.