Other than Economics-related textbook, not so many books I read last year. One of those few books I read was The Year of The Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota that I bought from Book Depository. Lucky me, last year I got US$ 80 (or 85, I forgot) voucher from Google for participating in their survey (to be exact, it was giving them feedback on bahasa Indonesia translation in their feature). I spent most of the value of the voucher for buying books online. 😀
It’s such a shame that I finished reading The Year of The Runaways only after five months. 😅 I stopped reading for a while due to lots of daily work but got chance to finally finish it last month. Can I make excuse for the book is quite thick? Hehe.
So here is my brief review.
Somehow I felt a little bit lost at the beginning of the book. There are a lot (like A LOT) of untranslated Panjabi words inside. I ended up only remember some words like roti and shalwar kameez. 😁 As I turned to more pages, I started to understand the context. So, I didn’t really mind those unfamiliar words.
Three Indian young men, Tochi, Avtar and Randeep, struggle for new and (hopefully) better life in the UK. Tochi has no papers, Avtar entered with student visa, while Randeep is lucky enough to have a ‘visa-wife’. Narinder, Randeep’s wife, is an Indian-blood UK citizen. She has her own secret reason to help Randeep. If it wasn’t for money, then why is she willing to risk her life by marrying Randeep?
Funny how God offers you everything you’ve asked for, only to force you to turn it away. (The Year of The Runaways)
The author uncovered the character one by one and little by little. It was not until half of the book that I felt I really knew the character and started to draw more empathy to each of them. It was not until half of the book, too, that the missing dots are started to be connected to each other.
Sahota captured very well the everyday life and struggle of Indian immigrants in the UK. Indian culture, social and economic issues are also brought to the table which enrich the overall understanding to the story. Part of the book teaches me about persistence, other part makes me realize that in some point of life, all we need is to let things and people go. The bittersweet ups and downs along the one-year journey are ended beautifully in the most realistic way. It’s just unforgettable. 😊
Total number of pages: 468