Welcome to Week 4 of the Online Book Club discussion of A Long Way Home.
Were you satisfied with the ending? Did all of the details wrap up like you wanted them to?
At the beginning of this section, Saroo makes it to India and decides to walk the streets to find his childhood home. Were you surprised that he was able to walk the streets so confidently? I don't know if my memory for directions would be so reliable, but he really spent a lot of time as a child wandering around, so it makes sense that he would know the area intimately. Did your heart sink when he made it to the house, but it was abandoned? I know that was mentioned in the prologue, but still, it was hard to read! It's so lucky that that stranger happened to be nearby and was able to recognize Saroo's childhood photos. I can't believe he was able to find his mother so easily.
What were you more surprised about once Saroo was reunited with his mother--the fact that she stayed in the neighborhood, so he could find her if he ever made it back home, or the fact that his name was actually Sheru, and he had been misprounouncing his own name for decades? I thought both of those details were pretty interesting.
I could not believe that his brother, Guddu, died on the day that Saroo was separated from his family. Did that surprise you? I wondered if something had happened to Guddu since he was not featured in any of the family photos in the middle of the book, but I couldn't believe that he was dead. And, that he had died the day that he left Saroo. I can't imagine how hard it was for his mother to have to identify his mangled body.
I was glad to read that Saroo's siblings seemed to have good and successful lives. They both had important jobs--I was glad they were not still living in extreme poverty.
What did you think about Saroo's train journey that he takes at the end of the book? Can you believe he made such a long journey as a little boy? I bet riding the train and having the whole experience provided him with a lot of closure. I was glad that he was able to see the juvenile detention center he had stayed in, and I was glad that he was reunited with Saroj Sood. I am so glad he was connected with such an amazing woman--she definitely helped to save his life.
What are your final thoughts about the book? Did you enjoy it? Would you recommend the book to other people?
If you enjoyed this book and would like to read similar titles, check out this list I created. Make sure to let me know if you check out anything on the list!
In the epilogue of the book, Saroo writes about an extended interview 60 Minutes in Australia did about his two mothers meeting for the first time. If you'd like to watch that interview, check out the clip below. You can watch the whole thing--it's really interesting, even though it's long, or you can fast-forward to the 21:55 mark to see the part about his mothers. Let me know if you make it through the clip without crying!
Thanks for following along this month. Make sure to leave a comment to let me know what you thought about the book! I can't wait to hear your thoughts. Finally, make sure to check back next month as we read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares.