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One Amazing Thing

A book by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

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Bridget's Review

  • Feb 2, 2010
  • by
Nine people are stuck together. They have survived an earthquake and are now working together to survive. There is a teenager, a couple, a young man who suffered on 9/11, an ex-soldier, a grandmother and two people who are about to cheat on their spouses. To pass the time and release some tension, they decide to tell a true story about themselves. After learning about life from another point of view they begin to appreciate the life they had and gain new perspective on the life they want to lead.

This is an emotionally charged novel that digs deep into your soul. When we are pushed to the limit our need for survival creates a way for us to manage almost any situation. Every now and then, you need to kick back and think about the one amazing thing that has happened in your life.

Sometimes you need to pick up a book that is going to show you the deeper meaning of being human. This is the perfect novel to show you what you need to see and appreciate the possibilities that life offers.

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More One Amazing Thing reviews
review by . June 17, 2010
In an unnamed American city, seven customers and two officials remained in the visa office of an Indian consulate, during the late afternoon, each lost in his or her own thoughts, when an earthquake struck. Amidst the chaos that follows, only one person, Cameron, an African-American ex-soldier retains his senses. He tries to calm the people down, and keep them away from the collapsed section of the office. Soon after, everyone's focus turns to survival. They try to scrape together as much food …
review by . July 02, 2010
Chitra being a favorite author of mine I couldn't wait to read it. I was amazed that she has always made each and every book very interested to read. I felt sorry at time's for some of charachters but when they each told their events it made me too realize that people are shaped and become like that due to an event that occurs in their life. I person always has their own point to view of everything and always has the what if in the back of their minds. I liked how we finally got to see how …
review by . April 14, 2010
I've read the previous works of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. I expected a powerful and thought provoking story. I was a bit disappointed.    For me, the story started off very slow. It was not until each individual started sharing their stories that I was WOW'd. However the ending of this book leaves me unsatisfyed, disappointed and a bit sad.     The writing was as I expect of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. The story though is missing something at the beginning …
review by . February 23, 2010
Nine strangers are all that remain in the passport and visa office when an earthquake rips through their unnamed American city. Lilly - a punky teenager with an unexpected gift. Mr. and Mrs. Pritchett - an upper-class Caucasian couple whose relationship is disintegrating. Tariq - a young Muslim-American man struggling with the fallout of 9/11. Uma - a graduate student haunted by a question about love. Cameron - an African-American ex-soldier searching for redemption. Jiang - a Chinese grandmother …
review by . January 17, 2010
This tale was at least 4 stars the entire way through. With a multitude of interesting characters with their own riveting and unique stories, this tale of a group of strangers trapped together in the aftermath of an earthquake was certainly interesting enough to keep the reader interested throughout. And although I found the story a pageturner, and the storyline itself wonderfully unique, the fact remains that the ridiculously abrupt ending managed to undo the entire literary experience. It was …
review by . January 10, 2010
ONE AMAZING THING is the story of a group of strangers who are caught in an Indian Visa office in SF when an earthquake traps them in a room. The group is diverse:    the Pritchetts, a middle-aged couple whose marriage is in trouble    a Chinese grandmother and her daughter (but the Chinese grandmother hails from Kolkutta Chinatown, which I didn't even know existed)    Tariq, a young adult Indian Muslim teen    Cameron, …
review by . December 31, 2009
I really enjoyed many aspects of this book. The story line is great. A group of unrelated people are in the basement waiting to get a visa to travel to India. They start their day with only one similarity - needing a visa - but they end their journey realizing that they are much more similar than they originally understood.    I like the build-up, the "event" and the subsequent slow unraveling as the characters found themselves straining to survive and work as a united team. …
review by . December 31, 2009
This well-written and well-imagined book offers readers a diverse collection of stories that help explain exactly how nine different individuals found themselves in the visa office of the Indian Consulate during an earthquake. The characters were certainly a group of unique individuals, but each could have been further fleshed-out to create a more satisfying experience for the reader. I would have appreciate more interaction and evidence of charcter growth in the present-day circumstances, rather …
About the reviewer
Bridget Hopper ()
Ranked #213
I am married to a wonderful man who I love more than I ever thought possible. My favorite things in life are spending time with the hubby, my puppy, reading, watching movies or TV and laughing with my … more
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About this book


In a soggy treatment of catastrophe and enlightenment, Divakaruni (The Mistress of Spices) traps a group of nine diverse people in the basement of an Indian consulate in an unidentified American city after an earthquake. Two are émigrés who work for the consulate; the others are in the building to apply for visas. With very little food, rising flood water, dwindling oxygen, and no electricity or phone service, the victims fend off panic by taking turns at sharing the central stories of their lives. Oddly, the group spends little time brainstorming ways to escape, even when they run out of food and water, and sections of ceiling collapse around them. They wait in fatalistic resignation and tell their tales. Some are fable-like, with captivating scene-setting and rush-to-moral conclusions, but the most powerful are intimate, such as the revelations an accountant shares about his impoverished childhood with an exhausted mother, her boyfriend, and a beloved kitten. Despite moments of brilliance, this uneven novel, while vigorously plumbing themes of class struggle, disillusionment, and guilt, disappoints with careless and unearned epiphanies.(Feb.)
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ISBN-10: 1401340997
ISBN-13: 978-1401340995
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Publisher: Voice

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