“How terrible, how ghastly…” Ms. Deraniyagala takes us inside the event. We watch the wave coming in, we smell the ocean; we feel the emptiness as she returns to her house in London and finds all her family's belongings just where they were when she left, her sons' soccer outfits with the grass stains still on them.
"I lay on the warm floor of our hotel room as a slow moon scaled above the sea…. At the edge of this floor, there was a small bolt-hole, filled with sand. When I saw the wave coming toward us, I asked Vik to shut that back door. It was into this bolt-hole that he pulled down the lock. Now I traced the rim with my fingers. I cleaned out the sand." This book is not for the faint of heart. It is gut-wrenchingly honest, but you won't want to put it down. Over 230,000 people perished in the 2004 tsunami. This book brings home the fact that each and every one of them had lives and stories, and grass-stained soccer outfits left behind.