by Ann E Beman: Resilience, survival, adaptability. These are all themes of this novel told in four parts — power, water, light, time. Wanda Lowe is named for the catastrophic storm that opens this memorable novel. She is born in a not-too-distant future Florida, with its power grid and social fabric unraveling. As Wanda’s personal losses mount, we see what she gains in the spaces that remain. I keep returning to imagery and themes in this powerful book, with its hopeful tone despite its civilization’s devastation. The blip of magical element in the book had me scratching my head at first. Was it really necessary? As I reflect upon its impact on the narrative, my answer leans yes. Because, again: Hope is light in the darkness. The author has done her homework in creating a post-climate-disaster Florida and surviving/survivalist characters making do with what and how the world changes. I’ll forgive her for using the words ‘row’ and ‘oar’ so many times when referring to paddling a canoe.

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