'The night before the wave, I remember that Hélène and I talked about separating. It wouldn't be complicated; we didn't live together, hadn't had a child, and were even able to see ourselves remaining friends, and yet, it was sad. It was Christmas 2004.'
In Sri Lanka, a tsunami sweeps a child out to sea, her grandfather helpless against the onrushing water. In France, a young woman succumbs to illness, leaving her husband and small children bereft. Present at both events, Emmanuel Carrère sets out to tell the story of two families - shattered, but ultimately restored. What he accomplishes is a heartrending narrative of love, a meditation on courage and decency in the face of adversity, an intimate look at the beauty and nobility of ordinary lives.
'As a storyteller Carrère is so freakishly talented, so unassuming in grace and power that you only realise the hold he's got on you when you attempt to pull away' Junot Díaz
'Gratifying and surprising ... A book about the texture and resonance of loss...Carrère covers a lot of ground with cool honesty and careful humanity' The New York Times