Rising From Katrina - How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered by Kathleen Koch was a tough read. It wasn't the reading level, nor the way it was written. The book flowed very easily and chronologically it told of the days leading up to the storm and the days, weeks, and months that followed. It wasn't just some story book, it was the real stories of real people on the coast, some of whom I've met, some are public figures you hear about on a daily basis, and others, who like thousands on the coast, have a story of survival and loss.
I've seen picture book after picture book of what remained in Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Lakeshore and the gulf coast. All which contain pictures that each speak a thousand words and are awe striking and heart aching. But this book wasn't just pictures of seemingly nameless and unrecognizable properties. It shared the lives and stories of those who stayed and rode out the storm, those who left and returned to find everything in disarray - It shared those stories of those properties that used to be just another picture in another book and the lives that once dwelled in those homes.
I began reading this book just a couple days after the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I can tell you in the four years I have been on the coast after the storm I've heard heart wrenching stories, things I thought I couldn't forget. But as time went on stories began to slip my mind. This book brought back a lot of the things I was told in my first year I was in Lakeshore. Things that reminded me and showed me how far things have come, how lives have changed, and the resolve of the people on the coast who pulled up their boot straps hours after the storm passed to help their neighbors, help themselves, and not wait or expect others to come in and pick up the pieces despite the lack the basics of food, water, and shelter. As well as stories of the believers I know who clung to the only solid thing there was, Christ and His Word.
I can say without a doubt, of the books about Hurricane Katrina I have read, this is one of the best and I highly recommend it.