It’s the summer of 1972, when six-year-old Suzanne Jones and her siblings are whisked away from their home in the middle of the night, never to return again. Hurricane Agnes has triggered a devastating flood that destroys the family home and business. Suzie and her family are then set on an exhausting yet exhilarating four-year journey to build back their lives.
Suzie bounces from one quirky family member to the next before she and her family settle into a government-provided trailer for the next two years. When Suzie and her family meet a community of kids and their free-thinking parents living in the other trailers, their lives are changed forever.
This tale of loss, love, and discovery, told through the eyes of a child, is at times laugh-out-loud funny and at others deeply poignant. Chock-full of 1970s nostalgia, Suzie’s story is a delightful trip down memory lane for those who lived through the decade and a vibrant illustration of life in the ’70s for those who did not.
From the Flood teaches us that even the most difficult life circumstances provide unexpected gifts.
The book is about the author’s experience during Hurricane Agnes and the ensuing flood that destroyed everything. It also tells you about the years after it when her family and community had to slowly rebuild it all.
Jones describes the fear everyone experienced during the hurricane and the excitement of the new lives they were creating for themselves from a child’s perspective. That she can remember so much from that time reveals the extent of the impact the flood had on her life. Despite being from a child’s point of view, the chronology and descriptions of the events are quite clear.
The book is enjoyable because Jones’ childhood is interesting and unusual. She writes with dry self-deprecating humour, whether it be about her father’s stoic persistence, her mother’s emerging interest in feminism, or the idiosyncrasies of her family and friends.
Jones and the group of children around her witness glimpses of serious issues, such as the women’s liberation movement, homosexuality, teenage pregnancy, and domestic violence. They do not understand much of these; their reactions to them are delightfully innocent!
Although From the Flood is a memoir written in a child’s voice, it is anything but childish. It is a charming book about what must have been a chaotic period, devoid of any melodrama or verbose descriptions.
Note: I received an advance review copy from BookSirens in exchange for an honest review.