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One amazing thing
Divakaruni, Chitra Banerjee
Adult Fiction DIVAKAR

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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 emigres 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Nine diverse characters trapped in the basement of an Indian consulate during an earthquake and its after-tremors tell their individual life stories within the framework of this shared, destabilizing experience in Pushcart Prize/American Book Award winner Divakruni's (www.chitradivakaruni.-com) latest novel. Each prospective traveler sheds light on unique cultural and personal issues ranging from spirituality and arranged marriages to selfishness and hidden disputes. The novel is often uneven, and the characters appear too easily resigned to their circumstances for the situation to seem real, but their stories add much depth and insight to what is ultimately a multidimensional work. Recommended for expanding multicultural collections. [The Voice: Hyperion hc received a starred review, LJ 2/15/10.-Ed.]-Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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