Friday, March 9, 2012

One Amazing Thing

When I looked in the library catalog for more information about One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, I was surprised to see that the critics characterized this novel as a psychological suspense. To me, this novel is a look at the power of story to sustain and feed us, it's a glimpse into the lives of strangers and the importance of place to a person's history.
Divakaruni sets the novel in a nondescript passport and visa office. At the end of the day, some of the customers have been waiting for hours to get their paperwork processed for their own personal trips to India. From nowhere, an earthquake hits and daily life as the nine people present know it has now been changed forever. A teenager with her Chinese grandmother, a wealthy Caucasian couple, an African-American ex-soldier who takes command of the situation as best as he can, an angry Muslim-American young man, two office workers from India and the young graduate student who shows everyone the importance of story.

The stories that everyone shares are personal, compelling, beautifully written accounts of times and places that shaped their lives. The teenager learns that her grandmother can speak English after all. The wife learns why her husband has been so set and rigid in his ways. The reader is transported all over the world and wants to learn more about these characters.

Psychological, definitely. Suspenseful, not in the general mystery definition of suspense. I suppose more in the way of what will happen to these characters next. After you read this novel, let us know how you would categorize this beautifully written novel.

~More Books

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