OUT OF THE BLUE By Kimina Lyall ABC Books $29.95
OSTENSIBLY a memoir of journalist Kimina Lyall’s devastating experience in the Boxing Day tsunami on a beach just north of Phuket, it is more about her journey towards self-knowledge than the disaster itself.
Lyall scored the coveted job of South East Asian correspondent for TheAustralianbased in Bangkok and she plunged into it with gusto. Unfortunately, almost her first experience in her exotic new home was an attempted rape on a deserted beach, an event that threw her completely off balance.
To her dismay she found that she was not strong and competent in a crisis, and this experience overshadowed her impressions of her new country.She didn’t like Thailand, didn’t enjoy it but she was determined to stay until she did.
She and her partner decided to build a beach house on a secluded island, Golden Buddha Beach, north of Phuket, a place they could escape to for weekends and, she hoped, a place where she could learn to love Thailand.But then came Boxing Day 2004 and the tsunami engulfed Golden Buddha Beach and those who lived there.
Lyall survived the tsunami, and so did her partner, but in the ensuing frenzy of journalistic activity her mental balance was lost.She was suffering from post-traumatic shock.
It’s good read and it really brings home the horror of the tsunami and the aftershocks still being felt by survivors and their families. In a word: Intriguing
— MARY VERNON