A terrible car accident occurs. Richard and Sonia, a couple with a crumbling marriage, stop to help the critically injured victims. In the process, they find a 140-year-old journal by the side of the road. Six different people have written in the journal. Though the entries span three centuries, the writers share a quest: the search for meaning in their lives. These stories take Richard and Sonia on a personal and historic journey: across Canada to the jungles of India and back to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, where a final mystery awaits.
Richard and Sonia happen upon a car crash on the highway. There are two people trapped inside an over-turned vehicle. The woman is hanging upside down in her seatbelt and the man is pinned in by the steering wheel. Sonia calls 911 on her cell phone to report the horrific scene displayed before them. Quickly the smell of gasoline permeates the air and the rush is on to remove these two people from their car before it catches fire or explodes into a fireball. They finally free them and manage to drag them to a safer place. The female is bleeding profusely from a chest wound where a large piece of glass has impaled her chest and the man is making horrible gurgling sounds from his throat. The ambulance finally arrives and the victims of the accident are on their way to the hospital.
Once the ambulance has gone, Richard and Sonia notice that the personal belongings of the passengers are strewn about the highway. Feeling badly for the couple they garner some garbage bags from the police and two old suitcases from the back of the car and begin the process of collecting their property and packing them in the bags and suitcases. When they are done, they head over to give the property to the police to deliver to the hospital for the couple, in case they survived, but the police wouldn’t have time and asked Richard and Sonia if they wouldn’t mind dropping them off themselves. They were a little taken aback but quickly agreed. As they were walking back to their own vehicle, Richard suddenly sees what looks like a book under the bumper of his car and bends down to retrieve it. Once inside the car where he could see, he quickly realizes this book is very, very old and appears to be a diary or journal of some sort.
It turns out to be a journal that is 140-years-old and has been passed along to different people who have recorded a story from their own lives into it. Although each person’s story is somewhat a condensed version, they are riveting stories that you simply can’t stop reading. Mr. Prendergast has smartly woven these stories together with a constant character that has come into possession of the journal.
I thoroughly enjoyed the amalgamation of stories from the different time periods. The characters in each life story were well-developed and the vividness of the writing made me feel as though I myself was there. I could see the sights, surroundings and smell the odours. I also loved the fact that the book was written by a Canadian and set in various parts of Canada!
The Impact of a Single Event had me pulled in right from the beginning and held my attention non-stop until the end. Speaking of the end, I loved the ‘twist’ at the end, totally unexpected but absolutely perfect! Don’t miss out on this one, once the word is out about how good this book is, it’s going to be a roaring success!!! Well-done Mr. Prendergast!