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Wave Hardcover – March 5, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
After reading many memoirs writing about similar survial stories, I honestly think this is one of the shortest and the best ones. I simply could not put it down.when I just finished the first chapter, I could feel the desperation,hopelessness, and numbness from the author, like a mental picture was made in my mind about everything that she has to learn to understand, and eventually, surrenders to.
In my view, POWERFUL is the best word to describe about this book.
We have become inured by the overwhelming number of stories of horror and tragedy. Perhaps we have thought to ourselves what we might do. Surely, we would sweep our parents up. Nor seeing the ocean in so strange a fashion, would be one of those who fled early. We might have had a better plan to survive. But in the end this is not the case. This book impels us to face the fact that given the overwhelming, we are helpless.
The author talks intimately of her days, months, years following the loss of her family. The prose is revelatory but not melodramatic. Sonali's story is told honestly with her attempts of suicide, her drinking, and her despair. She doesn't hide her frank anger with those who did survive. She doesn't rationalize the depths of despair and the inward turning of grief. It has been said that humans cannot grasp the horror of thousands of deaths, but can come to understand it by learning a story in depth. This book puts truth to this perception.
I read alot, about 70 books a year, and very very few get five stars. Five stars for me means the book goes way beyond "well-written", or "good story" to the level of impactful in my own life. I can't think of another book about loss that resonates so much - -
I have nothing comparable to her loss but her words help me view my own losses through different lenses.
I will remember this book just as I will always remember Joan Didon's Year of Magical Thinking. . .it's unforgettable. Deraniyagala displays unbelievable courage.
In some ways, reading this was like watching a car accident... I was pulled in the first moments. And then, as a mother of two, a wife, a human being- I was swept into the aftermath that was like a fog for Sonali in the days, weeks, months... years... following as she tries to get her head above water and reorient herself, make sense of the tragedy. There is a strong sense of trying to find one's orientation. Anyone who has experienced a great loss will understand the shock, fog, disorientation. This was like being in someone else's nightmare yet so very compelling, my sense of sympathy and empathy kept me reading- and a sheer sense of awe and compassion at how one survives such devastation, of Sonali's strength. One woman writes the pain of hundreds of thousands of people.
This is a quick and riveting read but heavy stuff. The author writes with such candor and is so raw it is difficult not to question, "What if it had been me?" That is a difficult question and yet such a necessary one in our world today where 'bad things happen to other people'. The author's healing is the reader's relief and her suffering is so intensely palpable- if you are looking for a light, frothy read or a tabloid-like retelling of this horror, this is not it.
This book is about how precious the moments of our lives are and how everything can be turned sideways and upside down in a matter of moments- and also about the great, quiet courage of continuing to live when you feel you have lost all. Very real. Exquisite. You will be changed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A deeply moving book in which the author relates her experiences and the loss of her family during the Dec 2004 tsunami. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Between the Leaves
This was a most horrific experience for anyone to go through. I can believe the depth of pain and depression this caused Sonali. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Liza Hollander
This moving book about tremendous loss and finding a reason to live touched my heart. Sonali faces the ultimate despair and is able to somehow get her life back on track. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sesho
DNF. I struggled to empathize or connect with the experience as told by the narrator, who came across as quite selfish and unfeeling :(Published 1 month ago by Melissa
I wanted to read this book because it was so highly regarded by the New York Times, chosen as one of the 10 best books of the year when it was published. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Empty Nest Expat
After my husband died in a bizarre accident six months ago, I began reading all the grief literature I could find, trying to make some sense of what had happened to him and how his... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Alysoun Mahoney