Saturday, March 20, 2010

One Amazing Thing~By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

One Amazing Thing opens with Uma Sinha considering whether her boyfriend really loves her. She is in the basement of the Indian Consulate attempting to get a visa to visit her parents. A woman in a blue sari makes Uma very uncomfortable but she can’t figure out why. Uma feels a need for sun and tries to call her boyfriend, Ramon, but she is suddenly thrown to the ground when the floor buckles. She tries to think of something to say to Ramon’s voicemail because she feels that she is going to die. We then meet Cameron, an asthmatic ex-soldier who helped after a disastrous earthquake. When a young child tries to open a door, Cameron hits him. His justification is that the door may be holding up debris. The survivors didn’t need the building collapsing any more. Malathi, the woman in the blue sari, reflects on things she could have done in her life. She also thinks back on the kiss with Mr. Mangalam, a married coworker. Malathi believes that the earthquake is karma getting her back for the kiss. The story then touches on Mr. Mangalam and then flows back to Uma. When they realize there is no way out, Uma suggests that each person tells of seeing “One Amazing Thing” This is to keep their mind off of their possible death.

I received this book right after Haiti’s massive earthquake. Then just as I got around to picking it up, Chile had its earthquake. Honestly, I was a little tired of all the earthquake talk. But once a person picks up their book, they will find it enjoyable. And for those of you worried, it does seem to have a happy ending. But that is really up to the readers own interpretation of the final pages.

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