The Katrina Diary is a memoir of one family's evacuation from New Orleans in advance of Hurricane Katrina to Jasper, Texas. The family then suffers the second blow of Hurricane Rita that hits the area less than a month later. This is the story of their struggle to get their lives together in the face of uncertainty and the aftermath of two devastating hurricanes.
I was very interested in reading this book because I live in South Louisiana. Our family lives about 60 miles northwest of New Orleans. We stayed home for both hurricanes and have a pretty good first hand knowledge of what it was like around here.
First off, I will say that I did enjoy reading the book. I'm always interested in learning about people's Katrina experiences. It's been 5 years and still not a day goes by that I don't hear someone talking about how Katrina changed their life. The author did a good job illustrating what their daily life was like and the fears and challenges they faced.
However, I had a couple of technical issues. The first was that I was unclear as to where the family actually lived originally. In reading the book I was able to figure out it was a military base, but which one? It doesn't really matter, but its just one of those things people are usually really specific about when they tell their story, exactly where there house was when New Orleans flooded. Secondly, the writer stated that Katrina came ashore as a Category 5 or strong Category 4 hurricane. That's incorrect. Katrina came ashore as a Category 3 hurricane. Then the last was that it was stated that "thousands" died here. That's a bit of an exaggeration. The final death toll number was 1,836 (over several states) with 135 categorized as missing. Missing doesn't necessarily mean that they're dead and their body just hasn't been found, it's been theorized that some people took the opportunity of all the chaos to disappear on purpose.
Overall, I thought the book was interesting and touching. I could relate to it personally I guess because I had been through it all and I had very small children at the time too. Our poor state of Louisiana has suffered through a lot over the last few years, but we shall persevere through all this mess.