I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.
A group of strangers are thrown together when an earthquake traps them in the basement of an Indian consulate in an unnamed American city. (most likely San Francisco) Inspired by her book of THE CANTERBURY TALES and in order to pass the time and prevent them from turning on one another, a young college student named Uma comes up the idea to share stories of "one amazing thing" from each of their lives. As the individuals sit in the dark and struggle with their fear and injuries, they become captivated by the stories they hear and reminded of what is truly important and significant in each of their lives.
I really enjoyed this book. I only wish it had been longer. As you read the story, it is easy to imagine the frightening circumstances that these people are facing and the intimacy created by sharing their stories with one another. As each story is told, the people move from being strangers to being individuals and Divakaruni reveals how another person's story can connect each of us with a truth in our own lives. For those of you who enjoy a tidy ending, you won't get that here. However, it is hard not to moved by this book.
This book will be released in February 2010.
BOTTOM LINE: Highly recommended. A short book but a very moving one. It left me wanting more. I was completely drawn in by the characters and their stories. I'll probably be nervous about earthquakes for awhile, however.