Review: One Amazing Thing

Why I picked it:  Don't you love this new cover?  I have the original book jacket (hardcover) and am sad to report that this book has been on my shelves for close to two years! 

I picked this book just after Thanksgiving, reading it in just one weekend (it's a short novel).

Synopsis:  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. One AmazingThing is a passionate creation about survival—and about the reasons to survive.

Type: Fiction

Quick Take: Recommend - This book reminds me of a Mitch Albom novel.  The story is very personal in nature (you feel a connection to the main character) and chronicles one day in the lives of nine people caught in a terrible situation.  It makes you aware of what people go through when trapped in a small space, complete strangers who need each other to stay calm/controlled in a dire situation.

I'm sorry it took me so long to read this one.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Source: Personal Copy

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