One Amazing Thing – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Title: One Amazing Thing
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
ISBN: 9781401340995
Pages: 240
Release Date: February 2, 2010
Publisher: Voice
Genre: Multicultural Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

A group of people are an Indian passport and visa office in a city in the United States when there is an earthquake.  Nine very different people are trapped inside the building.  Unable to leave or get help, they must rely on one another for survival.  Trying to pass the time, they each tell a story about themselves in order to reveal one amazing thing that has happened to them.

Review:

One Amazing Thing is a simple tale, a tribute to the different people that each of us are.  There are nine characters in this book, nine stories to be told.  Each is a unique story with it own lesson, but Divakaruni never hits the reader over the head with each moral.  Instead, she subtly weaves them into her overall tale, conveying her messages beautifully and with grace.

This book deals with a lot of heavy issues, from racism to forced marriage (and many problems in between) but in a very deft way.  Divakaruni never weighs down the story with tears or depression.  Instead, each of these tales serves a healing purpose.  Both the teller and the listeners are changed by the stories, softened and more understanding.  It’s a real testament to the power of stories.

One Amazing Thing is a slip of a book and it would be a real ordeal for the reader to get to know each of these nine characters intimately.  Instead, Divakaruni provides glimpses into each character’s life; the point isn’t to get to know these characters as much as it is to understand them and their motivations. 

The best part about One Amazing Thing is each character’s story.  They aren’t earth shatteringly dramatic stories.  Instead, they’re simple tales, characteristic of real life.  In that way, they’re very personal.  I loved reading each of these stories because they revealed something very private about the storyteller. 

One Amazing Thing was a very enjoyable novel that I definitely recommend.  At its core is the humanity that each of us share, humanity that comes across through the story that each person tells.  It’s a short novel and doesn’t take long to read, but it will leave you thinking long after the last pages are turned.

Comments

  1. Wow — this one definitely has caught my eye. I like books that make me think and that touch on broader issues on a personal level. Great review.

  2. Wow — this one definitely has caught my eye. I like books that make me think and that touch on broader issues on a personal level. Great review.

  3. This book is something I will definitely enjoy!
    Great review! I will look out for this one!

  4. This book is something I will definitely enjoy!
    Great review! I will look out for this one!

  5. Wow! This one has definitely got my attention!

  6. Wow! This one has definitely got my attention!

  7. I’m really looking forward to reading this one!

  8. I’m really looking forward to reading this one!

  9. I loved this bok. Glad that you did as well. I don’t think you had read it when you were on the show.

  10. I loved this bok. Glad that you did as well. I don’t think you had read it when you were on the show.

  11. I just did a review on Arranged Marriage by the same author on my blog http://musingsfromsrilanka.blogspot.com) A collection of short stories which turned out to be so absorbing that one couldnt put the book down. I think this book sounds so very good in a similar vein. Thanks for the review.

  12. I just did a review on Arranged Marriage by the same author on my blog http://musingsfromsrilanka.blogspot.com) A collection of short stories which turned out to be so absorbing that one couldnt put the book down. I think this book sounds so very good in a similar vein. Thanks for the review.

  13. This looks really good. Is it anything like Bel Canto (where people are holed up in a fancy house in Argentina when they are kidnapped)?

  14. This looks really good. Is it anything like Bel Canto (where people are holed up in a fancy house in Argentina when they are kidnapped)?

  15. Between you and Nicole I’m almost ready to break BLOB to get this! Must…wait..two..weeks…

  16. Between you and Nicole I’m almost ready to break BLOB to get this! Must…wait..two..weeks…

  17. I am very much looking forward to this one!

  18. I am very much looking forward to this one!

  19. Oh, this sounds good. Great review.

  20. Oh, this sounds good. Great review.

  21. this sounds like such an interesting book. Thanks so much for the review.

  22. this sounds like such an interesting book. Thanks so much for the review.

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