If you’ve ever been in a hurricane, you know how scary that experience can be. As a former resident of Louisiana, I also know how regular and sometimes harmless hurricanes can appear. I have vivid memories of friends praying for what we called a “hurrication,” a free vacation from school because of a category 1 or 2 hurricane that might knock out a power line or two. These were always the best vacations; however, sometimes these hurrications weren’t worth the damage.
I remember when my father had to stay in Lake Charles- my hometown- because my grandparents refused to leave their home during a particularly bad storm – Hurricane Ike. Even when the governor issues a mandatory evacuation, some people refuse to leave their homes. This made me particularly nervous, because though Ike hadn’t caused much wind damage, water from the lake and the surrounding rivers was beginning to rise. My grandparents’ home remained untouched, fortunately, but others weren’t so lucky.
My own family only lost one or two shingles from our roof, and despite the fact that we lived so close to the water, our house had received no water damage. But the home of a friend of mine, who lived three minutes down the road from us, had six feet of water damage. This was the second time their home had been flooded. Luckily this time they had flood insurance. Her family lived in her aunt’s pool house for about a year while they filed paperwork, gutted the home, and rebuilt the first story.
These are only a few stories that I have in my bank of memories concerning hurricanes. Because of this, it was only too real when I read Thomas Zigal’s new novel Many Rivers to Cross, a fictional narrative about the happenings in New Orleans after the levees broke during Hurricane Katrina. Based on extensive research, Zigal’s new novel explores the horrors of a drowning city as told through one family’s struggle for survival. Teeming with suspense, loss, and hope, Zigal’s story is one that will captivate readers with its genuine scenes of struggle balanced by Zigal’s lively sense of humor.
by Hannah Hughes, intern