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By Martha A. Murray on 06-22-13
It Puts St Bernard on the Katrina Map
Having survived Katrina in the Superdome, I am extremely interested in the anything on how people fared in the face of her devastation. Almost everything you read about Katrina is based in New Orleans.
This is about St Bernard parish, a suburb of New Orleans and the bayous around it. Having visited the area pre-Katrina I had a feel for the lay of the land.
The author knows the area, the people and their culture. He explains why they stayed and how the bayou is in their DNA. Life has not changed in hundreds of years. It is all they know and they are a part of the land itself.
You not only hear tales of survival and death but you are given a broader picture of the lives of these folks. Ken goes beyond the surface pain to extract the deeper sorrow about a way of life lost.
These are a people who time has forgotten. And again they were overlooked in the face of Katrina. In the wake of her destruction no homes were spared. There was no fairy tale ending for the people of "da parish."
And that is what makes this a book worth reading. Ken realistically sums up the aftermath of the storm. He tells about the suicides, those who gave up and left and those who started over. You get a feeling of why folks made those tough decisions.
I wish the narrator had been a local resident. He butchered the names as do most people who do not live here. I had to do a double take to realize what he was talking about. At least he did not try to simulate a proper Cajun accent and for that I am grateful.
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