Title: The Year of the Runaways
Author: Sunjeev Sahota
Publication Year: 2015
My Rating: 4/5 stars
"The Year of the Runaways" takes place in London as well as in India. We follow various Indians who are settled in London and who don't know each other to begin with. All the Indians have moved to London illegally in order to earn enough money for their poor families back home. Some Indians come from a more cruel background than others, but they all have one thing in common, which is that they are in a desperate situation.
This book was highly educating and very interesting to read! I knew about illegal workers and their poor conditions, but this book gave me a really good insight into what their lives and situations are really like. These people live from day to day in a constant presence of fear. They do this with the best of intentions - they want to save their families back home - but life is very tough for each one of them.
Besides from that, this novel also taught me about Indian culture such as food, traditions and ways of living which is always very nice. It furthermore comes with some very clever observations which I really admire Sunjeev Sahota for. However, in my opinion the story did stretch on for a bit too long, and even though I wanted to continue reading about the characters, I did feel a slight disconnect to them towards the ending. BUT it was most certainly a great read, and I have a feeling it's going to be one of those books that will stick to my mind for a long time to come.