Book Review: One Amazing Thing by: Chitra Divakaruni

Summary: Late afternoon sun sneaks through the windows of a passport and visa office in an unnamed American city. Most customers and even most office workers have come and gone, but nine people remain. A punky teenager with an unexpected gift. An upper-class Caucasian couple whose relationship is disintegrating. A young Muslim-American man struggling with the fallout of 9/11. A graduate student haunted by a question about love. An African-American ex-soldier searching for redemption. A Chinese grandmother with a secret past. And two visa office workers on the verge of an adulterous affair.

When an earthquake rips through the afternoon lull, trapping these nine characters together, their focus first jolts to their collective struggle to survive. There's little food. The office begins to flood. Then, at a moment when the psychological and emotional stress seems nearly too much for them to bear, the young graduate student suggests that each tell a personal tale, "one amazing thing" from their lives, which they have never told anyone before. And as their surprising stories of romance, marriage, family, political upheaval, and self-discovery unfold against the urgency of their life-or-death circumstances, the novel proves the transcendent power of stories and the meaningfulness of human expression itself. From Chitra Divakaruni, author of such finely wrought, bestselling novels as Sister of My Heart, The Palace of Illusions, and The Mistress of Spices, comes her most compelling and transporting story to date. One Amazing Thing is a passionate creation about survival--and about the reasons to survive.

The first thought that popped into my head as I read the synopsis was 'The Decameron'. For those of you who haven't read it, 'The Decameron' is about a group of people in ancient Italy? who flee to the mountains in order to escape the black plague, they then tell each other stories. That just seemed like it was so similar to this book, not a bad thing at all, it take guts to write a book stringing stories well together.

I liked this book for it's premise mostly. 'One Amazing Thing' started out a bit slow and then progressed a bit only to take a cliff dive off the deep end. Once the characters started to tell their stories, the whole book seemed to lose a bit of focus, and in turn as a reader, so did I. The characters were well thought of and the author did an excellent job putting these characters together in one place, and also with the choosing of the character's backgrounds. I just never felt that hook that draws you head first into a story. 'One Amazing Thing' was just ok, in my opinion. I still love the idea of the book though and it has an excellent theme; I'll let you figure it out for yourself.

Received from: Publisher for review
For more information or for purchasing visit Chitra Divakaruni's webpage.

I give this book 3/5 stars. ★ ★ ★ 

To purchase:


Monica S.

Copyright The Bibliophilic Book Blog 2009-2010

1 comment:

  1. I got this book for review also - the premise is very intriguing! We'll see how I like it!

    ReplyDelete

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