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.
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"Sartaj Garewal's reading of this novel about Indian migrant workers in Britain combines the best of both audio and print. Garewal transitions clearly between narrative and dialogue, verbally producing the punctuation that differentiates them and making for minimal replays. At the same time, he brings the words on the page to life--performing rather than simply reading the dialogue, perfecting the various accents of the characters ranging from Indian to Cockney, and even adopting different voices for different characters to fully flesh each one out. This allows the listener to follow along easily, despite the novel's frequent long blocks of dialogue and huge cast of diverse characters. M.F.R. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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