Award-winning reporter Emily Dugan's Finding Home follows the tumultuous lives of a group of immigrants, all facing extraordinary obstacles in their quests to live in the UK.
Mihai, 29, works in construction in London and longs for a National Insurance Number. Syrian refugee Emad, 35, set up the Free Syrian League, and danger in the UK became as real as it had been in Damascus. He worked illegally in London to pay for his mother to be smuggled from Turkey on a near-deadly trip across the Mediterranean - but the battle to get her into Britain has only just started. Teaching assistant Klaudia is one of many thousands of Polish people now living in Boston - itself a microcosm of poorly managed migration.
Dugan's timely and acutely observed book reveals numerous intense personal dramas of ordinary men and woman as they struggle to find somewhere to call home. It shows that migration is not about numbers, votes, or opinions: it is about people.
Emily Dugan is social affairs editor at the Independent and the Independent on Sunday. Her investigations into human trafficking have twice been awarded Best Investigative Article at the Anti-Slavery Day Media Awards, and her human rights journalism was shortlisted for the Gaby Rado Memorial prize at the 2012 Amnesty Media Awards. This is her first book.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes. It is a different perspective on the migrant situation to the one the mass media portrays. However, I think it is skewed too far towards the opposite perspective. While interesting and eye opening, it is very sympathetic towards all of the migrants whose stories it follows. This is a 'cherry picked' group and they all want to better themselves, work legally and not be a burden on the system. But I find it hard to believe that all migrants are like this. There are a lot who also are a burden on the system and these people would not volunteer to be interviewed for a book - they would be too scared of bringing themselves to the attention of the authorities. I admire a lot of these people in the book and their work ethic and willingness to abandon their homelands and make new life.
Who was your favorite character and why?
No favourite, all the people portrayed have real lives and back stories.
Which scene was your favorite?
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
No, I did feel sympathy for a lot of the people. Most of them arrive in Britain seemingly with very little - but then they mention contacting their families on their mobiles and Skype. Times for migrants have changed - previous generations of migrants had things a lot harder than this. There was no social security, no Skype and no mobile phones.