Friday, March 29, 2013

Recommended Read: Wave

Sonali Deraniyagala has written one of the most honest, brave, and heartbreaking books I've read. We often define ourselves based on the familial roles we play: child, spouse, parent. Imagine if all of the those identities were stripped away in one fell swoop. Deraniyagala lost her husband, two sons, and parents in the 2004 Tsunami. She survived.

Deraniyagala's journey isn't pretty, nor a guide to handling grief. But, her family lives on in this portrait of her now-deserted existence; fittingly, in remembering the small details, she brings to life the whole picture of this previous life. You'll feel as though you know her children, could even pick them out in a crowd, she describes them so well. Her anguish and rage leap off the page. Her honesty is refreshing (from the hospital where she waits in vain for her family after the tsunami):
The boy kept walking back and forth and crying. I wanted him to stop. Someone brought a large towel and wrapped it around his shoulders. Still the boy sobbed. But I didn't speak to him. I didn't try to comfort him. Stop blubbering, I thought, shut up ... Vik and Malli didn't have a chance. Just shut up.

It reads as quick and deep as the wave that destroyed her family.
Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
Find it in the catalog!