A family on holiday in Thailand gets caught in the tsunami disaster of 2004. Henry, his wife Maria, and three sons, Lucas, Thomas, and Simon are vacationing on a resort in Thailand over Christmas holidays. They are expats living in Japan but are spending the holidays in warmer weather. The resort is sprawling and beautiful, everything is perfect.
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One morning, they are playing in the pool when the ground shakes, then a huge wall of water hits them with a deadly force. Maria and her eldest Lucas are separated from the others and are swept further inland as the brown waters churn around them. The current is strong and they struggle to stay together. Maria is tossed and turned underwater, and is punctured by fallen branches. She has a deep gash on her side and her leg. Later they run into a small boy and take him with them. They rest on top of a tree in the event of aftershocks or another wave. Soon, locals help them. On the way to the hospital, the dead, mostly white tourists are lined on the roads. At the hospital, the scene is absolute mayhem and the doctors are dealing with overcrowded, understaffed, and understocked facilities. Maria is given some meds for the pain, while Lucas is nearby. The little boy was earlier separated from them and taken by locals.
Henry survives with Tomas and Simon, and he places them with a group of other survivors for transport to higher ground, while he decides to search for his wife and son. With a flashlight, calling out to his wife and child, he searches in the dark in the nearby resorts, all ripped apart. Another tourist whose family has perished helps in his search. They scour shelters and hospitals for the others. With lists of the missing and the dead posted everywhere, they physically have to go in and look at the patients in the hopes of finding them. They eventually end up in the location of Maria, the two boys aboard a vehicle, are there outside as well. But they do not know that they are all within the same place. Lucas is able to meet his dad, while the two boys hop off the vehicle to stay behind. Everyone is finally reunited. However, Maria is in critical condition. They wait while she is being operated on. She survives. Afterwards, the family is taken on a plane to Singapore for further medical attention. From the air, they see the devastation on the ground and cannot fathom how they survived.
Best part of story, including ending:
The action was horrifying, you can imagine the fear the family went through.
Best scene in story:
When the dad hugged his two boys at the hospital, and then he finds his eldest son alive.
Opinion about the main character:
Maria's will to live and to protect her son was brave and touching. Her son's maturity was also commendable.