Fiona Shaw has opened up about the domestic bliss she is enjoying with her wife, Dr Sonali Deraniyagala – while also listening her beloved’s tragic autobiography as a favourite read.
The 60-year-old Harry Potter and Killing Eve star discussed her joy at finding love with Sonali and gave fans a slight insight into their married life.
“I married and that calms you down. I didn’t really have a domestic life because I was always working. But I do have one now, which I love,” the actress told the MailOnline.
And while the life Fiona and Sonali are building together sounds delightful, the actresses wife has an unbelievably tragic past.
Sonali opened up about the death of her husband, two sons, and parents who were all killed in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Indonesia.
Writing in her book, Wave, Sonali details how she was found unconscious in a lagoon following the tragedy – only to then learn she was the sole survivor of her family.
The Cambridge graduate was on a Christmas holiday with her husband Stephen Lissenburgh, their sons, five-year-old Vikram, and seven-year-old Nikhil, and her parents Gemini and Edward, when disaster struck.
In her book, Sonali reveals her husband and sons made it to a jeep and attempted to escape the disaster when they saw a 30ft wave of water coming towards them – and sadly they did not have time to collect her parents.
“I think he (Stephen) saw the wave when it was rising and when it was coming at us,” she wrote of the last moment she saw her husband alive.
“The last I saw of Steve was that look on his face where he looked completely aghast, seeing something that I couldn’t see. But I couldn’t turn back; I didn’t have time to turn back and look … because that’s when the jeep turned over and we were all dispersed,” she added.
After learning her family were dead, the doctor fell into depression and contemplated suicide.
“I would plead in the darkness, where are they, bring them back. I will kill myself soon. But until then, how do I tame my pain?” she wrote in her book.
After relocating to New York, a therapist suggested she make notes of her thoughts – which became the framework of her award-winning memoir.
The book moved Fiona, who read it while performing on Broadway, and sought out the author – with the pair building a relationship after meeting.
Fiona has described her passion for the book, describing the book to the MailOnline as an: “Astonishing memoir of the tsunami in 2004 when Sonali lost her husband, parents and children.
“She held on to a branch and lived. Thereafter it’s an amazing description of their happy life in London and Sri Lanka before they died. I was blown away by it.”