Book - 2013
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One of The New York Times Book Review 's 10 Best Books of the Year

On the morning of December 26, 2004, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala lost her parents, her husband, and her two young sons in the tsunami she miraculously survived. In this brave and searingly frank memoir, she describes those first horrifying moments and her long journey since. She has written an engrossing, unsentimental, beautifully poised account: as she struggles through the first months following the tragedy, furiously clenched against a reality that she cannot face and cannot deny; and then, over the ensuing years, as she emerges reluctantly, slowly allowing her memory to take her back through the rich and joyous life she's mourning, from her family's home in London, to the birth of her children, to the year she met her English husband at Cambridge, to her childhood in Colombo; all the while learning the difficult balance between the almost unbearable reminders of her loss and the need to keep her family, somehow, still alive within her.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307962690
Characteristics: 227 p. ; 20 cm.


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ArapahoeTina Nov 03, 2019

Painful and poignant, this story will break over you like a wave.

Jun 06, 2018

This is the most incredible true story I've ever heard. I actually did "hear" it because I downloaded the audio book. I highly recommend this over reading it because it's just like having the author sitting right there (although it's not actually the author's voice).
All the different phases of grief that she went through and the order of dealing with each loss: first her boys, then her husband, and then her parents. You will be changed by this book and appreciate your own relationships even more.

ArapahoeKati Jun 28, 2017

This book will break your heart.

May 15, 2017

Difficult to read at times. So tragic. The depth of her pain was really difficult to get through, but as she began to recover the tone of the book changed. I cannot imagine surviving, let alone writing a book about it. Best wishes to her.

Jan 04, 2017

The parts about what the author experienced during the tsunami really held my interest. Most of the book was about flashbacks to memories with her husband and kids that were too difficult for her to internalize. While I sympathize with her extreme anger and terror of revisiting anything connected with her happy past, I couldn't read the entire book through. I found that her anger in particular was too negative for me. Had I gone through such an experience or had similar depth of loss, I can see how I would identify with many of the memories she recreated. But I haven't, and for me the amount of negativity that stays with me after reading such depressing stories is too much. I hope she finds her way back to happiness.

dairyqueen Mar 13, 2015

Personal narrative from a survivor of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Very thought provoking.

dairyqueen Mar 13, 2015

Personal narrative from a survivor of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Very thought provoking.

Jan 13, 2014

Sonali Deraniyagala was vacationing with her family in Sri Lanka's Yala National Park on Christmas, 2004, when the deadliest tsunami in history killed her parents, husband, and two young sons in a single instant. It's a story so unfathomable that, even nine years later, Deraniyagala herself can hardly believe it happened to her. What she's finally shared in Wave is a brief account that is both shocking and — terribly, somehow — beautiful. She unsentimentally excavates all the ugly crevices of her grief. By opening up about the horror that swallowed her entire family, Deraniyagala has in some small, shadowy way created a space for Steve, Vikram, Mali, and her parents to live on. It is, in a word, astonishing.

Jan 08, 2014

This book is haunting. It has been said that time heals all wounds, and indeed, for this woman, time did begin to heal her wounds. But the loss, and that process, is the stuff of a real-life, hell on earth. I'm glad I read it because I believe her family, who are all dead, deserve to be read about and remembered.

Jul 27, 2013

Wave is a courageous and difficult memoir that follows the author in the months and years following the tsunami that his Sri Lanka on December 26, 2004. She captures her agonizing desperation as her world fractures and explodes with the loss of her parents, sons, husband and best friend in the disaster.
As she remembers the tsunami's terrible aftermath, her words draw us into the waves of her grief, the state of her mind, the confusion, disorientation and rage. The narrative moves slowly and with difficulty through her journey to remember, to grieve, to let go and to heal as she re-discovers the places and people in which her family remains embedded. Wave captures the slow growth of a lost and re-discovered life.

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ArapahoeTina Feb 07, 2020

ArapahoeTina thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Sonjahv Apr 19, 2015

"Seven years on, and their absence has expanded. Just as our life would have in this time, it has swelled. So this is a new sadness, I think. For I want them as they would be now. I want to be in our life. Seven years on, it is distilled, my loss. For I am not whirling anymore, I am no longer cradled by shock."


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