The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota | Waiting on Wednesday


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Image from Goodreads


Title: The Year of the Runaways

Author: Sunjeev Sahota

Publisher: Knopf*

Release Date: March 29th, 2016*

*This is the first United States printing of the book. The Year of the Runaways was originally published on June 18th, 2015 by Picador.




Synopsis (From Amazon)

From one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists and Man Booker Prize nominee Sunjeev Sahota—a sweeping, urgent contemporary epic, set against a vast geographical and historical canvas, astonishing for its richness and texture and scope, and for the utter immersiveness of its reading experience.

Three young men, and one unforgettable woman, come together in a journey from India to England, where they hope to begin something new—to support their families; to build their futures; to show their worth; to escape the past. They have almost no idea what awaits them.

In a dilapidated shared house in Sheffield, Tarlochan, a former rickshaw driver, will say nothing about his life in Bihar. Avtar and Randeep are middle-class boys whose families are slowly sinking into financial ruin, bound together by Avtar’s secret. Randeep, in turn, has a visa wife across town, whose cupboards are full of her husband’s clothes in case the immigration agents surprise her with a visit.

She is Narinder, and her story is the most surprising of them all.

The Year of the Runaways unfolds over the course of one shattering year in which the destinies of these four characters become irreversibly entwined, a year in which they are forced to rely on one another in ways they never could have foreseen, and in which their hopes of breaking free of the past are decimated by the punishing realities of immigrant life.

A novel of extraordinary ambition and authority, about what it means and what it costs to make a new life—about the capaciousness of the human spirit, and the resurrection of tenderness and humanity in the face of unspeakable suffering.

First Impressions:

I thoroughly enjoy stories where multiple character story lines cross over, connect, and influence one another. My first thought was what an exciting tale this will be. However, upon reading a few reviews it appears this is not a feel good story, but much can be learned from Sahota’s work. While I am looking forward to how the characters’ stories will intertwine, I am curious to read Sahota’s descriptions of the landscapes from India to England. As I have never had the opportunity (yet) to visit outside my home country, I do hope for the words to paint the scenery the characters must travel.


Until next post,

Wanderlust Nargle