"The boy was everything to her. Small and unruly, he had a nervy way about him like a wild creature caught in the open. All the dark hearts of the lost, the found and the never forgotten lived in his child's body, in his quick eyes."
"In her powerful debut, Hodgkinson takes on the tale of a family desperately trying to put itself back together after WWII. Silvana and Janusz have only been married a few months when the war forces them apart. Silvana and their infant son, Aurek, leave Poland and disappear into the forests of Eastern Europe, where they bear witness to German atrocities.
Meanwhile Janusz, the sole survivor of his slaughtered military unit, flees to France. There, he takes up with a local girl and, though he loves her, awaits the war's end so that he can go in search of his wife and son. He eventually finds them in a refugee camp and they travel to England together, where they attempt to put the past behind them. But the secrets they carry pull at the threads of their fragile peace.
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."
22 Britannia Road was a bestseller in Holland and a New York Times bestseller in America. In 2011 the novel was chosen as a Waterstones 11 best debut novels, an Orange New Writers book, was included in The Library Journal of America's top ten best historical fiction books of 2011, an Oprah Magazine book pick and a finalist for the East Anglian Book of the Year. Nominated for the Goodreads Choice award for best historical fiction and an NPR Indie booksellers Summer's best read, 22 Britannia Road was also picked as an Editor's 'spotlight' book on Amazon.com and was in the top Amazon.com books of 2011. The novel won the Italian Cariparma Award 2012. It was nominated for the Gran Premio Delle Lettrici Elle magazine Italia best books of the year and was the winner of the Prix Agora de St Foy 2013 in France and the winner of the Silver Feather for the prix des lecteurs 'Plume Libre.' A finalist for the Waverton Good Reads award it also won the EADT reader's choice award in association with the New Angle Prize for East Anglian literature in 2013. It has been published in many countries wordwide and translated into fifteen languages.
"A riveting historical novel of love and war."
O, The Oprah Magazine.
"With luminous Prose - 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, leaves an indelible impression."
New York Times Books Review.
"The characters are so convincing and the writing's so unshowily accomplished that it soon becomes something gripping. An admirable debut."
"An affecting story, extremely well told."
"Convincing and touchingly portrayed."
Independent on Sunday.
"A powerful debut."
"An ambitious debut...with an air of psychological truth."
The Financial Times.
"A remarkable debut novel. Hodgkinson’s poetic voice is impossible to forget, and the shocking, hopeful ending will leave readers reeling".
Amazon.Com's Editor's Spotlight choice.
"A beautifully rendered novel, it is inevitable that Amanda Hodgkinson’s 22 Britannia Road will elicit a comparison to William Styron's shattering Sophie's Choice. And while no one with any humanity could fault Styron's Sophie for taking her own life, Silvana's perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds is ennobling."
The Washington Independent Review of Books.
"A stark and beautiful book, alive to the compromises, deceptions and passions that traumatic situations can demand from the most circumspect of people."
"This book is a not-to-be-missed page-turner that kept me engrossed from start to finish."
Michael DiSchiavi. 'Editor's Choice' in The Historical Novel Review.
"A deeply affecting, complex novel, driven by primal truths and the subtleties of character, Hodgkinson's debut is a standout."
Lynne Harnett. Seacoast Sunday.
"Keep your Kleenex handy reading 22 Britannia Road."
"Lose yourself in this beautiful tragic tale."
"A most accomplished first novel. Powerful story-telling and entirely convincing in its evocation of post-war England."
Penelope Lively, author of Family Album.
"A deeply felt debut."
Helen Simonson, bestselling author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand.
"A novel of histories woven with secrets which threaten to unravel the present, this is a lushly written, compelling and ultimately moving read."
"What comes after surviving? asks Hodgkinson in her ambitious, emotionally incisive first novel threaded with primitive human instincts for safety and companionship. Hodgkinson enters boldly into well-trodden, sensitive territory and distinguishes herself with freshness and empathy."
Kirkus (starred review)
"Fans of novels like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and Sarah's Key, who can never have too much of a good war story, will warm to this fine debut. Recommended."
"Haunting.... This moving tale of what war has wrought on one family captures the reader from beginning to end, when these flawed characters finally come to their own fragile peace."