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Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
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Wave (2013)

by Sonali Deraniyagala

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Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Wave is sad. It tells an incredibly sad story about the author and her family. As I have had a recent tragic event in my life, I understand the author. It's a melancholy novel as it should be. The love of her family is at the foremost, and as she allows herself to remember, we witness her healing process. A profound novel that will stay in my heart. ( )
  Beth.Clarke | Jun 28, 2019 |
An above-average effort from a thoughtful amateur. For those with a particular interest in the 2004 tsunami, this is a worthy point of view. Not quite up to the gold-standards in grief memoir (for me, [b:The Year of Magical Thinking|7815|The Year of Magical Thinking|Joan Didion|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327878638s/7815.jpg|1659905] and [b:An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination|3291844|An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination|Elizabeth McCracken|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1420829798s/3291844.jpg|3328337]) but quite compelling. ( )
  Eoin | Jun 3, 2019 |
I don't read a lot of memoirs, so even less memoirs recounting and coping with horrible events. But this one stands out as small, human, sharp, flawed, fragrant, fetid with details and senses and pain.

Touches of her coping with the loss of her mother and her father and her husband and her son and her other son helped me think about how my divorce left me in a state of embarrassment and hiding from telling the story.

But we should be open to telling our stories, or as she writes, "I am left feeling I've blundered into a stranger's life." That is precisely how it feels to be embarrassed about a death or an illness or a job loss or a divorce or some other splinter in time and habit that one hides and paves over instead of watching for signs of new life sprouting out of it.

And I don't want to say that her telling her story brings life sprouting out of it, like it's a blessing. It's just the way life is.

This is a moving story. ( )
1 vote Wattsian | Mar 9, 2019 |
It's a very good book but after a while it gets annoying. The sadness she describes doesn't incorauge You to read on ( )
  lucaconti | Jan 24, 2019 |
I feel guilty for not liking this more, but there it is. If the book had ended on page 18, where the author scorns a surviving kid for living only because he was fat, I'd call it a minor masterpiece. After that, it seems to lack direction. The book is also filled with run-ons, as in, "I thought it unbecoming, other mothers and aunts didn't get so hysterical surely," "That's all I could tolerate, my focus was on our boys and Steve," "Malli was her hope, he understood glamour and flair," "But now here I am in the home I lived in as a child, I am more open to glimpses of what a gloriously happy time it was." There's one of these on almost every page and I found them distracting.

It also feels very much like it was written by a posh academic--which, of course, it was. The problem with that, at least for me, was that the grief never felt raw or real. I felt like I was at a conference. By the end of the book, I couldn't remember much about it. I didn't mind its lack of resolution or that the author never "moves on," but I found her manner more and more precious as the book continued. I kept comparing it to C. S. Lewis's A Grief Observed, which is a minor masterpiece. Read that one instead.

Postscript: Thinking about this in my car the other day, I was trying to articulate to myself why Wave struck me as it did. I think it has to do with the idea that the author believes in nothing outside of herself. There's no big questions, no philosophical speculation on the causes or nature of suffering...just her. ( )
  Stubb | Aug 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
This is possibly the most moving book I have ever read about grief, but it is also a very, very fine book about love. For grief is the black hole that is left in our lives when we lose someone irreplaceable – a child, a parent, a lover. It is the negative image that, in its blackness, sometimes reveals love with a greater clarity than its positive counterpart. And while in Wave love reveals itself by the bleak intensity of the pain of absolute, irreplaceable loss, it is in the end a love story, and a book about the importance of love.
 
It is a nightmarish tale of what happened that desperate day and the desolation and rage that followed. At times, Deraniyagala’s honesty shocks.
added by Nickelini | editthe Telegraph, Beth Jone (Mar 26, 2013)
 
The word “brave” is used a lot to describe those who write about their deepest traumas — too often, I think — but it’s an apt description of Deraniyagala. She has fearlessly delivered on memoir’s greatest promise: to tell it like it is, no matter the cost. The result is an unforgettable book that isn’t only as unsparing as they come, but also defiantly flooded with light.
 
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Alexandra and Kristiana
First words
I thought nothing of it at first.
Quotations
Starved of their loveliness, I feel shrunken. Diminished and faded, without their sustenance, their beauty, their smiles.
Occasionally an insensitive relative might walk away if I mention my anguish, and I reel from the humiliation of my pain being outlandish, not palatable to others.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307962695, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:02 -0400)

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 description.… (more)

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