February 3, 2016

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala


This book packs a lot of heartbreak in the tiny little package. I read it all in one day, then had to take a day to recover.

The author was born in Sri Lanka and went to college at Cambridge. There she met her husband to be. They lived in England, but visited her home country of Sri Lanka often. They loved to go to the seaside resort of Yala.

The day after Christmas 2004, there was a massive tsunami that hit the coast of Sri Lanka at Yala. Deraniyagala and her husband, their two boys, and her parents were guests there. The author is the only survivor of her family.

Wave is about how she does (or doesn't) handle the situation. Her guilt and despair are palpable.

On the other hand, I wonder what would have happened if she hadn't been pretty well-off. For example, after the event, she lived with her aunt in Sri Lanka for a considerable time. She kept the house in London, complete with housekeeper and gardener, even though she didn't return to it for almost 4 years. Most people would not financially be able to take that kind of time to grieve. I wonder what it would have been like if she had been forced back into the world by monetary necessity.