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By Sonali Deraniyagala (McClelland & Stewart)


Sometimes tragedy can become a gimmick to sell books, and when reading Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala, I almost wished that were the case. Instead, the memoir is a raw, fragmented story of a woman who lost her two young sons, her husband and her parents, when the massive 2004 tsunami hit Sri Lanka. With one wave, Deraniyagala’s entire world was washed away, and she was all that was left. The reader follows her from moments before, to recent times, with short and powerful vignettes containing both memories of what life used to be like, and her attempt to pick up the pieces now. It’s a story of moving on, but not forgetting. The writing is both vivid and simplistic, and Deraniyagala’s strength as both a writer, and a person, are clearly evident. Ultimately, Wave is the kind of book you almost wish you could forget, but probably never will.

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