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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sonali Deraniyagala Narrator: Hannah Curti Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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On the morning of December 26, 2004, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala lost her parents, her husband, and her two young sons in the tsunami that she miraculously survived. In this brave and searingly frank memoir, she describes those first horrifying moments and her long journey since.

An engrossing, unsentimental, and beautifully poised account, she shares her struggles through the first months following the tragedy, furiously clenched against a reality that she cannot face and cannot deny; and then, over the ensuing years, she emerges reluctantly, slowly allowing her memory to take her back through the rich and joyous life she’s mourning—from her family’s home in London, to the birth of her children, to the year she met her English husband at Cambridge, to her childhood in Colombo. All the while, she learns the difficult balance between the almost unbearable reminders of her loss and the need to keep her family, somehow, still alive within her.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An amazing, beautiful book.”

    Joan Didion, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The most powerful and haunting book I have read in years…Deraniyagala has brought back to life in this stunning memoir all those she lost, so much so that we will never forget them or their lives.”

    Michael Ondaatje, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The heartfelt writing manages to render the absence of the loved ones—the void, and the pain of it—in such a beautiful way that what was lost emerges as a new life form, one whose flesh and sinew are memory, sorrow, and undying love.”

    Abraham Verghese, New York Times bestselling author

  • Wave is unflinching as it charts the depths of grief, but it’s also, miraculously, a beautifully detailed meditation on the essence of happiness.”

    Will Schwalbe, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Rarely are we given a story of such narrative force and poetic simplicity.”

    Mary Karr, New York Times bestselling author

  • “It is a miracle Deraniyagala lived. The fact that she could write such a memoir, bringing those she loved to life so completely that they breathe on the page, is itself a miracle.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “Immeasurably potent. . . . This massively courageous, tenaciously unsentimental chronicle of unthinkable loss and incremental recovery explodes—and then expands—our notion of what love really means.”

    More magazine

  • “Greatness reverberates from her simple and supple prose.”

    New York Times

  • “In this poignant, yet spare and unsentimental memoir, she writes movingly of the life that she shared with the people she lost and how those memories helped her deal with her grief.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review (editor’s recommendation)

  • “So brave, so beautiful, in these pages Deraniyagala’s family is brilliantly alive. And so is she.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “As unsparing as they come, but also defiantly flooded with light.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[Deraniyagala’s family] spring from these pages with an exuberance and dimensionality that lifts Wave from memoir into some virtual realm of documentation.”

    Boston Globe

  • “What emerges from this wizardry most clearly is, of course, Deraniyagala herself—carrying within her present life another gorgeously remembered one.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Deraniyagala tours memories of her young family’s history with artistry.”

    New Yorker

  • Wave captures the elusive, shape-shifting nature of grief.”


  • “A devastating but ultimately redemptive memoir…The craft and control reflect an exceptional literary command…Reading Deraniyagala’s account proves almost as cathartic as writing it must have been.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “An indelible and unique story of loss and resolution written with breathtaking refinement and courage.”


  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for March 2013
  • An Barnes & Noble Best Book for March 2013
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A 2013 Christian Science Monitor Book of the Year for Nonfiction
  • A Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2013 for Nonfiction
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2013
  • One of Newsday’s Favorite Books of the Year for 2013
  • A People Magazine Best Book of 2013
  • A New York Times Top 10 Book of 2013
  • Winner of the 2013 Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Nonfiction
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2013 in Nonfiction
  • A 2013 Salon Magazine Best Book
  • A 2013 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • A 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
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