Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Book Review of One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
In disaster, they will discover the truth. In each other they will find hope.
The place: An Indian visa and passport office in an unnamed U.S. city.
The cast: A punky teenager with an unexpected gift. An upper-class Caucasian couple whose relationship is falling apart. A young Muslim-American man struggling with the fallout of 9/11. A graduate student haunted by a question about love. An African-American ex-soldier searching for redemption. A Chinese grandmother with a secret past. And two visa office workers on the verge of an adulterous affair.
When these nine wildly disparate people are trapped together in the immediate aftermath of an earthquake, their struggle to survive is captivating enough-but award-winning novelist Chitra Divakaruni takes their situation to the next level, as each of the nine takes a turn sharing "one amazing thing" from his or her own life. As their stories unfold, Divakaruni's themes become ever richer and the life-and-death suspense all the more meaningful. One Amazing Thing is a passionate creation about survival-and all the reasons needed to survive.
One Amazing Thing drew me in from the start. The book opens from the point of view of the graduate student as she surveys the Indian Embassy and its occupants during the start of the earthquake. Her voice is accessible, witty, and sympathetic.
The perspective shifts seamlessly from one character to another, partly through each person's sharing of the "one amazing thing" from his or her life. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has woven together nine fascinating and brave stories from seemingly nondescript people. Their shared storytelling helps the captives survive their harrowing experience and it gifts us with a satisfying, well-crafted, and beautiful read.
ISBN-10: 1401340997 - Hardcover $23.00
Publisher: Voice; 1 edition (February 2, 2010), 240 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
About the Author, courtesy of the publisher:
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning, bestselling novelist and poet. The author of 14 books, including The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, she lives in Texas.
Thank you so much to Chitra Divakaruni and Hyperion Books for this review opportunity!