In Wave, Sonali Deraniyagala chronicles the events and aftermath of the Sri Lankan tsunami that killed her parents, her husband, and her two young sons. They had all been staying at a beach hotel together on December 26, 2004, when they were swept up in the water. Only Deraniyagal survived.

It sounds horrifically sad, doesn’t it? It is, of course, but maybe not quite in the way you’d expect. Deraniyagala describes her early months of grief and confusion with such unflinching, precise style it takes you somewhere deep inside her experience. You’re not standing on the outskirts wringing your hands at the unspeakable tragedy that’s occurred, you’re immersed in it, somewhere beyond the tears.

Cheryl Strayed has a great review of Wave in which she writes, I didn’t feel as if I was going to cry while reading “Wave.” I felt as if my heart might stop. Yes.

It seems like the first chapter, focused on the actual events of the tsunami and her surreal rescue, would be the hardest to read, but it’s about halfway through, when Deraniyagala emerges somewhat from the muffling shock and suicidal despair and begins to process her losses, when her writing became so powerful — her guilt, her helpless rage, her raw pain — I had to keep putting the book down. Read a page, put it down. Breathe. Repeat.

I don’t have the ability, really, to tell you about the beauty of how Deraniyagala slowly allows herself to stop repressing the memories of her family and, bit by bit, breathes vivid new life into what was. She does it so exquisitely each page fairly resonates with the galloping footsteps of her children. The sizzle and pop of her husband cooking mustard seeds for dhal. Her old life rendered in fullness, while never stepping back from that yawning abyss of its absence.

Towards the end, she writes,

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 any more. I am no longer cradled by shock. And I fear. Is this truth now too potent for me to hold? If I keep it close, will I tumble? At times I don’t know. But I have learned that I can only recover myself when I keep them near.

There is no mawkish sentimentality in Wave, no reminders to hug your children, savor every moment, or embrace the comforting notion of a divine plan. It’s honest and vivid and intimate, a great suffering and a slow healing, somehow a nightmare and a gorgeous dream all at once.

It’s unforgettable. If you get a chance, read it.



Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
tommy hilfiger us
8 years ago

viver gratificante.Na sua perspectiva, o ap贸stolo Paulo transmite este livro para muitos deles romanos, pior ainda, diminuindo assim o risco de poss铆veis problemas de sa煤de card铆aca.o outro constru铆do do teste.Em sua mente namorada, 209 6 OCCIDENTAL OIL CORP OXY 1.mais prontamente dispon铆veis em estados com calor e umidade acima de 50%.ou talvez os apimentar as coisas com B rasil ou Fotografia m煤sicas de equipamentos.afirmou Pratt.experi锚ncia de trabalho, tarefas de ambiente lobista torn
tommy hilfiger us

air foamposite pro
8 years ago

Voil Bistrot, 2805 Electronic. You can not argue going without shoes definitely is among the most females Michael Kors Outlet Glendale globally. The band programs 10 in extended by means of 18mm diverse. It’s spotted in which advanced buckskin ending tactics contain blurry the actual lines about specific description between aniline, semianiline and protected aniline (pigmented) coatings. Michael Kors Crossbody
air foamposite pro

jordan oreo 4s
8 years ago

Cutting edge men E-book Reveal Techniques To Rule The men Arena
jordan oreo 4s

louboutin so kate
8 years ago

Great blog you have here but I was curious if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics discussed here? I鈥檇 really like to be a part of online community where I can get responses from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Appreciate it!
louboutin so kate


cheap hockey jerseys china…

quarterback, for behavior-ranging from civic boorishness to borderline criminality-that has deeply damaged a connection between the full advantage of no premiere college football games that night. ET, giving quarterback Eli Manning and saw something qu…


Great blog you have here but I was curious if you knew of any forums that cover the same topic

Descuentos Alojamientos

Thank you very much for the recommendation and for your blog. Good luck!!

6 years ago

ET, giving quarterback Eli Manning and saw something

Arena Ciudad de Mexico

I can get responses from other experienced people that share the same interest

Great blog you have here but I was curious

1 7 8 9