by Saroo Brierley
New American Library
Lion follows tried-and-tested storytelling plotting, but this time it doesn’t work. Saroo Brierley was adopted by an Australian couple as a child after he was found as a street urchin in Calcutta. He had ended up in the city after falling asleep on a train that took him hundreds of kilometres away from his family. Not knowing exactly where he lived, or even his own full name, Brierley survived on instinct, although luck intervened to see him placed in a juvenile detention centre. Soon after, he headed for Tasmania to begin a new life with his new family. But Brierley continued to be haunted by the fateful night he got lost. Readers will race through those chapters, however, wanting to find out only one thing: how his birth mother reacted when finally they were reunited, after 25 years – something you know happens because, unfortunately, you’re told that at the start. More could have been made of Brierley’s exciting search for his Indian home, via Google Maps, with a bit of help from Facebook. But perhaps the film version, starring Dev Patel, will be a more gripping telling of what is an incredible story.