A Long Way Home Book Summary - A Long Way Home Book explained in key points

A Long Way Home summary

Saroo Brierley

Brief summary

A Long Way Home is a memoir by Saroo Brierley, recounting his incredible journey of being lost as a child in India and eventually finding his way back home through the help of Google Earth. It is a story of resilience, determination, and the power of the human spirit.

Give Feedback
Table of Contents

    A Long Way Home
    Summary of key ideas

    An Unexpected Journey

    The memoir A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley begins with Saroo's reminiscence of his lost childhood in India. As a five-year-old in a rural village, he lives in poverty with his mother and siblings. One fateful day, Saroo accompanies his older brother Guddu to a nearby town and gets separated. Accidentally, he boards a train that takes him nearly 1,600 kilometers away to the bustling streets of Kolkata.

    Alone in Kolkata, Saroo confronts the harsh reality of India's urban poverty. Although he barely escapes dangers like child trafficking and abuse, he manages to survive. Unable to locate his family due to his limited understanding of geography and the pronunciation of his hometown, Saroo ends up living on the streets until he is taken to an orphanage.

    Second Chances in a New Land

    The narrative in A Long Way Home then shifts to Saroo's life in Tasmania, Australia. He is adopted by a kind-hearted couple, John and Sue Brierley, introducing him to a starkly different life filled with love and opportunity. Despite the language barrier and cultural differences, Saroo adjusts well and grows up to be a successful man.

    Although he thrives in his new environment, Saroo never lets go of his past. The lingering memories of his biological family bother him, stirring a desire to find his origins. This desire grows stronger when at a party with fellow Indian students, he learns about Google Earth, a tool he believes can help him track down his hometown.

    A Digital Search for Lost Roots

    Saroo's quest to trace his origins in A Long Way Home becomes a painstakingly meticulous process using Google Earth. Relying on scant childhood memories of landmarks and his geographical assumptions, he spends countless hours combing through the digital landscapes of India. His efforts seem futile due to the vastness of India, but Saroo remains undeterred.

    After several years of relentless search, Saroo finally recognizes his hometown, Khandwa, and the dam he used to play near on Google Earth. Overwhelmed with joy and disbelief, he plans a trip to India, incognizant of what awaits him in Khandwa.

    A Reunion Two Decades in the Making

    The climax of A Long Way Home unfolds in Khandwa. Saroo finds his way through the now unfamiliar streets of his hometown. Eventually, he arrives at his childhood home, but it's abandoned. A neighbor informs him that his mother now lives in a nearby area.

    Finally, Saroo reunites with his biological mother, his brother (Guddu had unfortunately died the night Saroo got lost) and the extended family. The reunion is emotionally profound and laced with the bitter-sweet realization of how different his life could have been. In the end, he strives to bridge the gap between his two worlds, eternally grateful for his life in Australia, yet never forgetting his roots in India.

    Give Feedback
    How do we create content on this page?
    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is A Long Way Home about?

    A Long Way Home is a memoir by Saroo Brierley that tells the incredible true story of his journey from being lost in India as a young child, to being adopted by an Australian family, and finally using Google Earth to track down his birth family. It is a heartwarming and inspiring tale of resilience, determination, and the power of love.

    A Long Way Home Review

    A Long Way Home (2013) is a remarkable memoir that recounts Saroo Brierley's incredible journey of finding his way back home after becoming lost in India as a child. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With a powerful and emotional true story at its core, it captivates readers and tugs at their heartstrings.
    • Through Saroo's vivid descriptions and detailed recollections, the book immerses readers in his journey, allowing them to experience his struggles and triumphs firsthand.
    • It explores themes of identity, family, and home, encouraging readers to reflect on their own connections and sense of belonging.

    Who should read A Long Way Home?

    • Those who are interested in true stories of resilience and determination
    • People who appreciate personal narratives that explore themes of identity and belonging
    • Readers who enjoy stories of cross-cultural experiences and the power of human connection

    About the Author

    Saroo Brierley is an Indian-born Australian businessman and author. His memoir, "A Long Way Home," tells the incredible true story of his journey from being lost on the streets of Calcutta as a young child to being adopted by an Australian family and eventually reuniting with his birth mother. Brierley's book has received widespread acclaim for its powerful and inspiring narrative. It was also adapted into the critically acclaimed film "Lion," starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.

    Categories with A Long Way Home

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    A Long Way Home FAQs 

    What is the main message of A Long Way Home?

    The main message of A Long Way Home is the power of determination and the strength of the human spirit.

    How long does it take to read A Long Way Home?

    The reading time for A Long Way Home varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is A Long Way Home a good book? Is it worth reading?

    A Long Way Home is a compelling read about love, loss, and resilience. It's definitely worth your time.

    Who is the author of A Long Way Home?

    The author of A Long Way Home is Saroo Brierley.

    What to read after A Long Way Home?

    If you're wondering what to read next after A Long Way Home, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
    • Mastery by Robert Greene
    • Bounce by Matthew Syed
    • The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
    • How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
    • Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
    • Don’t Go Back to School by Kio Stark
    • How to Become a Straight-A Student by Cal Newport
    • I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
    • The Education of a Value Investor by Guy Spier