A story about two similarly named women affected and connected by Hurricane Katrina, Landfall is, at times, nail-bitingly tense, and at others, heartbreaking. Rosy's story of survival and escape from the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans is raw with pain. Rose's story is a long journey toward redemption that even she doesn't realize is necessary. Urbani's storm landscape is brilliantly informed by her previous work as a federal disaster/trauma specialist. Landfall is a perfect storm of disaster, tragedy, family, and hope. Please read it! Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Rosebud Howard almost survives. She charges through the Lower Ninth Ward, beating the wall of floodwater by a half-block. She clambers out of an attic, onto a roof, into a rowboat. But her grueling six-hundred-mile trek to Tuscaloosa, in search of help for her family, ends when she's hit and killed by a car laden with supplies for Hurricane Katrina victims. Passenger Rose Aikens, orphaned by the crash, climbs away from the wreck after lacing the dead girl's sneakers onto her own feet. When she discovers they share not only shoes but a name and a birth year, Rose embarks upon a guilt-assuaging odyssey to retrace Rosebud's last steps and locate her remaining kin. The stories and destinies of these two teenagers one black, one white converge in Landfall, giving voices to the dead and demonstrating how strangers, with perseverance and forgiveness, can unite to reconstruct each others shattered family histories.
"With her new novel Landfall, Ellen Urbani enters the world of American fiction with a bang and a flourish. She brings back the terrible Hurricane Katrina that tore some of the heart out of the matchless city of New Orleans, but did not lay a finger on its soul. It is the story of people caught in that storm and the lives both ruined and glorified in its passage. Her descriptions of the flooding of the Ninth Ward are Faulknerian in their powers. Its a hell of a book and worthy of the storm and times it describes." Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides
A deeply soulful novel set during the chaos of Hurricane Katrina and the long, moody ebb of its aftermath, Landfall recalls Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God for the strength of the women in its pages, and their resilience despite immeasurable loss. Urbani knows it's only love that truly overcomes catastrophe, that even as we search for the answer to that most elusive question — Why? — everything in our lives can always change in an instant, sometimes even for the better.” Tony D'Souza, author of Mule
Reading Ellen Urbani's writing is like reading a painting, or a song. It's that colorful and alive. Urbani sweeps you up into her world and carries you through this gripping story about two young women affected by similar tragedies.” Kerry Cohen, author of Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity
Two mothers and their teenage daughters, whose lives collide in a fatal car crash, take turns narrating Ellen Urbani's breathtaking novel, Landfall, set in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Eighteen-year-olds Rose and Rosebud have never met but they share a birth year, a name, and a bloody pair of sneakers. Rose's quest to atone for the accident that kills Rosebud, a young woman so much like herself but for the color of her skin, unfolds alongside Rosebud's battle to survive the devastating flooding in the Lower Ninth Ward and to find help for her unstable mother. These unforgettable characters give voice to the dead of the storm and, in a stunning twist, demonstrate how what we think we know can make us blind to what matters most.