Kimina Lyall was The Australian’s Bangkok correspondent.  At the beginning of her posting she underwent a devastating experience. Yet despite everything, she was determined not to let it force her back to Australia.

Kimina Lyall - Dart Center

Instead, she and her partner discovered the perfect island retreat. On a paradisiacal beach, among a small international community, they built their dream holiday escape.

Moving between bustling Bangkok and the peace of the beach, Kimina was able to recreate her sense of peace.

That is until everything was swept into the sea on 26 December 2004. the Boxing Day tsunami devastated their small golden community as it did so many other places.

Drawing on all her journalistic skills, Kimina retells her own story and pieces together those of her neighbours as, minute by minute, they struggled to survive.

Having created vivid, all-too-human impressions of these people, she recounts with an extraordinary power and sense of building horror the destruction of a way of life and the chilling loss of life – and then takes us through the aftermath.

This is a must-read for anyone who desires to explore the meaning of strength, the fragility of resilience and the importance of human compassion.

Kimina has exposed her vulnerability, fear, despair and depression in a moving account of danger, survival – and the human failure to heed warnings. This is an extraordinary story, stunningly told..