Deraniyagala, a Sri Lankan by birth and a Londoner for college and beyond, was vacationing with her parents, her husband, and her two small children in Sri Lanka for Christmas in 2004, as was their family tradition. They were staying in a hotel not too far from the water. The day after Christmas, she looked out the window and noticed that the water seemed a little closer than usual. She called for her husband to come look – and then. AND THEN. Deraniyagala’s husband, parents and two boys were killed in the Tsunami that devastated the country but somehow she survived. This is the opening chapter of Wave, and the rest of it is a spiny, sharp, dangerous exploration of her grief. Her grief was not delicate and graceful, but a shocking spiral of alcohol, drugs and self-injury. Gosh it was a hard book to put down.
May 10, 2013