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Extended Audio Sample 22 Britannia Road: A Novel Audiobook, by Amanda Hodgkinson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.78617647058823 out of 53.78617647058823 out of 53.78617647058823 out of 53.78617647058823 out of 53.78617647058823 out of 5 3.79 (34 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Amanda Hodgkinson Narrator: Robin Sachs Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2011 ISBN: 9781101501009
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22 Britannia Road is an astonishing first novel that powerfully chronicles one family’s struggle to create a home in the aftermath of war.

With World War II finally over, Silvana and her seven-year-old son, Aurek, board the ship that will take them to England, where Silvana’s husband, Janusz—determined to forget his ghosts—has rented a little house at 22 Britannia Road. But after years spent hiding in the forests of Poland, Aurek is wild—almost feral. And for Silvana, who cannot escape the painful memory of a shattering wartime act, forgetting is not a possibility.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It is Hodgkinson’s portrait of the primal bond between mother and child, her visceral understanding of the gorgeous, terrible weight of love mothers must carry, war or no war, secret or no secret, that leaves an indelible impression.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Hodgkinson alternates viewpoints to relay the story of three desperate characters, skillfully toggling between the war and its aftermath with wonderfully descriptive prose that pulls the reader into a sweeping tale of survival and redemption.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Hodgkinson enters boldly into well-trodden, sensitive territory and distinguishes herself with freshness and empathy.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Selected for the May 2011 Indie Next List
  • An Oprah Irresistible Read
  • A 2011 Library Journal Best Book
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Summer | 2/16/2014

    " Such a sad story. It was depressing for awhile but I really liked the ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cecilia | 2/14/2014

    " Saving review because it is a buddy read "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenna | 2/12/2014

    " I've decided I'm going to start saying stuff about what I read. Here's my first review. I was expecting a love story and this book was full of disappointment after disappointment. It was good enough to read all the way through but that was only because I wanted to know the ending. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 2/9/2014

    " Wonderful read - recommend it to everyone! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 1/20/2014

    " Good quick read. WWII in Poland and ultimately England. Mostly after the war - husband separated from wife and baby and reunited in England at the end of the war and how they cope as a 'family'. Well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandy | 1/18/2014

    " Hard to put down (obviously, LOL!) A family separated during WWII is reunited at war's end. Its not a sweet reunion as each as been through their own hell and struggles to find their way to be a family again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susie | 1/17/2014

    " A good read. Kept me interested until the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Irene Schneiker scallon | 1/1/2014

    " This was really good. It was about a young Polish family separated by WWII. After six years they come back together, but lies and secrets come between them. I really enjoyed the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Farin | 12/30/2013

    " 22 Britannia Road is a strong debut novel from Amanda Hodgkinson about picking up the pieces after World War II. Janusz and Silvana Nowack are newlyweds who barely out of adolesence and with a year old baby, Aurek. When Germany and Russia invade their homeland of Poland, Janusz goes to enlist and tells Silvana to leave Warsaw and go to his parents in the country. Unfortunately, things don't turn out quite as Janusz planned, and he ends up getting separated from his regiment and going on the run with a couple of other deserters until he can reach France and then England. Silvana has to take to the forest, where she and Aurek hide for six years and become as wild as their surroundings. When the Allies arrive in Poland, Silvana and Aurek are sent to a refugee camp, where, with the help of a social worker, Janusz finds them and brings them to Ipswich, on the coast of England, to start a new life at 22 Britannia Road. Janusz and Silvana quickly learn that it will be impossible to go back to how things were before the war, especially when both of them have secrets from their time apart that they would prefer the other never learn. This is a story that is at times very difficult to read because the characters can seem callous. I had to keep reminding myself that in wartime, particularly during World War II, the survival instinct governs most decisions, and this made a lot Janusz and Silvana's actions easier to stomach. The fact that it took so long for Silvana and Aurek to leave behind their habits from the forest also rang very true, especially as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors who continue to be affected by the war. Aurek was most interesting to watch as he learned to trust the father he never knew and to feel safe in a home that wasn't in the wild. The ups and downs of Janusz and Silvana's story kept me thoroughly engaged, from their vastly different experiences during World War II to their attempts to build a new life in England. I spent the entire time wondering if they were going to make it and if their secrets, as they were revealed, would destroy them. This became even more important as Aurek grew comfortable with his new life. Ms. Hodgkinson also captured the various eras and settings of the novel beautifully. I especially loved her depiction of post-war, age-of-austerity England and the difficulties that Janusz encountered in trying to achieve a prosperous life as a foreigner in a country under hard times. This was one of those books that I sped through in a matter of hours. It's a truly incredible read with a very satisfying resolution, and I can't wait to see more from Ms. Hodgskinson. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy Chessin | 12/25/2013

    " Wonderful book! I loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 12/12/2013

    " Good and touching, but I'm a little "WWII'd out". The narrator did a great job! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicky Titcomb | 10/11/2013

    " Great addition to WWII historical fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gail | 6/10/2013

    " A sad, sometimes disjointed story of survival through and after World War II. It makes you realize, once again, how lucky we are as Americans not to have had the war in our own cities. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nora Roy | 12/2/2012

    " Keeping a small child alive in a northern forest on a diet of twigs and bark for four years, and emerging alive = totally implausible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mrs. Roy | 11/22/2012

    " This book was beautifully written; I would recommend it to my friends rather than my students because I don't think teens would connect with the marital struggles and secrets that drive the plot forward. I can't believe this is Hodgkinson's first novel; I look forward to reading her future work! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy F | 11/19/2012

    " I guessed the twist that was about 70% into the book, but even with that, it's still a fantastic book thus far. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy Nystuen | 9/7/2012

    " Great book. Although the subject matter is difficult (surviving during WWII), the author handles things carefully. As the book jacket says, "22 Britannia Road is the wrenching, beautifully wrought chronicle of how these damaged people try to become, once again, a true family." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Isabelle Solal | 7/17/2012

    " It took me a little while to get into it, but once I was in I was all in. A book that rings true, nothing overdone, nothing sugar-coated, with an ending that is neither happy nor sad but honest. Well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dianne | 7/5/2012

    " Story of a Polish family separated in WW2 and after almost 5 years of being apart they become a family again. That's a long time to be apart and they really have a hard time getting to know each other again because of all their war-related experiences. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen McRae | 6/6/2012

    " This story of a Polish couple parted for 6 years due to WW11 and reunited in Britain after the war shows how difficult it is to set aside the trauma of war and displacement.This book had well described characters and was a very interesting story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marcia | 4/16/2012

    " Another well written book about depressing people. Loved the historical backdrop and understand this to be a tragic reality, but it left me feeling .... Blah (a great literary term). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frances | 1/2/2012

    " This was a very easy book to read - a little different from most second world war stories - not something that I would consider a great book - but ok "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jody Schwartz | 11/27/2011

    " I don't want this to end! There were times I actually put it down so I wouldn't read it! I loved it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jody | 6/27/2011

    " This is a quick read, and nicely written. A little predictable, and it didn't leave me thinking about it, feeling like I had inhabited or knew any of the characters intimately. But still enjoyable. I would be interested in reading what this first-time author writes next. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kasa | 6/27/2011

    " Although I finished this book (partially due to a book club commitment), I never felt fully engaged with either of the main characters. The deprivations of war familiar and wrenching, but the characters seem merely placed in the scenes, fixtures rather than participants. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 6/26/2011

    " Excellent characters with provocative stories to tell about how World War II changed the course of their lives irrevocably. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 6/23/2011

    " Another World War2 book about Polish immigrents trying to make a life in post war Britain and leave their shattering wartime memories behind. A very accomplished debut novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 6/21/2011

    " This book was really good. Sad, but good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 6/17/2011

    " It was engaging but I didn't love it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linnet | 6/17/2011

    " Jan and Silvana leave Warsaw with the German invasion about to begin. He, to join the army; she, to keep their son Aurek safe. They reunite in England six years later, both with years of war secrets between them. Can they make a life together in the home he rents on 22 Britannia Road? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bethgentner | 6/15/2011

    " There are twists and turns that I found very surprising. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 6/13/2011

    " I was mesmerized by this story. I read it straight through. It was heart-wrenching but seemed very realistic in it's authenticity about the aftermath of the World War and the horrendous displacements that followed. Beside all the sadness, the book offers hope..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 6/13/2011

    " We all have a story to tell, we just need to remember to listen! "

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About the Author
Author Amanda Hodgkinson

Amanda Hodgkinson attended University of East Anglia and now works as a journalist and writer. Born in Burnham-on-Sea, England, she currently lives with her husband and daughters in a farmhouse in the southwest of France.

About the Narrator

Robin Sachs (1951–2013), raised in London and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, came to the United States in 1991. His credits include Alias, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dynasty, Nowhere Man, Babylon 5, Diagnosis Murder, Galaxy Quest, Northfork, Ocean’s 11, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Megalodon.