by Sonali Deraniyagala
Synopsis: 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.
Review: I feel heartless saying this but I didn't really feel anything for the author and her tragic situation. I cannot even fathom the grief that she has felt from losing her entire family: her husband, children and parents but the author somehow did not evoke any emotions in me. I felt like the book was a bit robotic and I wanted so much more. The book was basically a reflection of her life with her family before the tsunami and how empty her life was after it. Perhaps writing was cathartic for her (at least I hope it was) and she needed to express these stories in writing but it didn't make for a good book. I would have liked to hear that her emotional state was improving and that she was finally able to look forward but that wasn't there after seven years. My rating has nothing to do with the experience the author had, it is in the writing style.
Rating: 2 stars