Flood Stage -- A Novel, by Kate Scannell
The floodwaters keep rising, the torrential rains continue, and suddenly your life and home are thrust onto flood stage. How do you react to the peril? Do you stay or flee? What do you choose to carry away, and what do you hope to leave behind?
Ferocious rains pummel Thalburg Canyon and overfill the Baptista River that runs through a tight-knit rural community in Northern California. When flooding ensues, canyon residents are forced to make life-altering decisions, and their interconnected stories are acted out on center stage. A paralyzed woman, exhausted by her life, plans an opportune death in the flood. The local real estate agent is shocked to discover beauty in the canyon’s demise. Couples drift together or apart over old affairs and insurance coverage mistakes. A man burdened by a toxic secret struggles for atonement as the flood encroaches upon his final opportunity for redemption.
These and other stories portray a series of unique personal histories caught up in a universal human drama.
Midwest Book Review
When a flood is approaching, many see it as a warning to move to safety. These people have other plans. Flood Stage tells the story of an assortment of individuals who are all struggling with their own lives as a torrential downpour soaks their Thalburg Canyon homes into a flood zone. Some seek their end to end their pain, others look for a chance at redemption, and others still have their own stories of life and death. Touching and poignant, Flood Stage is a fine novel that shouldn't be missed.
Norma Scannell, the author's Mom
I loved it. It's my favorite book in the entire world and for all time to come.
M. Lance Reynolds, Amazon Review
Kate Scannell brings to life the diverse characters in Flood Stage in a way that allowed me to inhabit their hearts and minds. As a white male elder it may seem obvious that I can clearly relate to the tormented Bill Dunleavy for past misdeeds. It is much less apparent that I can understand and feel what it might be like to spend an adult lifetime wheel chair bound, as does Bill's childhood sweetheart Maddy Bertolli. Now I can. The setting is a small and remote northern California town under evacuation from a flood that will destroy its houses, farms and businesses. In twenty interconnected stories Kate takes us in clear and economical prose through the triumphs and disappointments, the loves and the heartbreaks, of the inhabitants' lives. She unpeels the misunderstandings that put relationships and marriages in peril, whether from the viewpoint of an adolescent youth or an Indian dentist. I began to understand what it might be like to be an African American woman in a largely white town enduring well-meaning but obtuse comments and questions. I read the book in two evenings and now come back to it to savor its many insights. Buy it and read it. It has enriched my life and I believe it will enrich yours.