The Indian Ocean tsunami that broke loose on December 26, 2004, killed something like 230,000 people, including Deraniyagalas parents, husband, and two young sons. And though she opens by taking us straight into the wave, 30 feet high and rushing toward Sri Lanka at 25 miles an hour, her book is ultimately an account of her coping with her grief while also celebrating the memories of those she loved. As she ranges over her childhood in Colombo, meeting her English husband at Cambridge, and the birth of her children, we learn how she managed to keep these wrenching memories, and hence her family, with her.

A profoundly moving, piercingly frank memoir of learning to live with grief--that begins in Sri Lanka on Dec. 26, 2004, when the author lost her parents, her husband, and her two young sons in the tsunami she miraculously survived.