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SHELF: NWAW’s August must-reads, strangers brought together by unusual circumstances

Here are my latest book recommendations for Northwest Asian Weekly:

“One Amazing Thing”
By Chitra Divakaruni
Voice, 2010

On a weekday afternoon, a major earthquake hits an unnamed American city, trapping nine individuals in the Indian consulate’s visa office located in the basement of the building.

With nowhere to go and more time on their hands than they know what to do with, one of the nine — a graduate student named Uma Sinha — suggests that each person tell a tale of “one amazing thing” that has happened in his or her life.

From Mr. and Mrs. Pritchett, an older white couple whose marriage is not all that it seems, to Jiang, a Chinese woman who understands more English than her teenage granddaughter Lily realizes, to Cameron, an African American former military man who is still haunted by the first death he had contributed to, it is clear that there is more to each individual than initially perceived.

This was one of the things I enjoyed about “Amazing.” Each person’s story adds complexity to his or her character. Readers really feel for them as they experience joy and happiness, as well as betrayal and heartbreak.

To read more, click here.

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