This is a fictionalized account of the Flood of 1927 that many people may not have heard of…I had not heard of it until reading this book. In the authors’ note, they explain how thousands of miles of levees from Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico were endangered of flooding, and in order to protect the area, there were armed guards stationed around the levees. Despite their preparation, the big flood hit on Good Friday in Mississippi burying almost a million homes and drowning twenty-seven thousand square miles. Authors Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly got together and created a fictionalized story that occurs doing this tragic event.
The story follows two federal agents (Ingersoll & Ham) who are investigated the disappearance of two other agents in Mississippi when they get involved with Jesse, a local bootlegger, and his wife Dixie Clay. Throw in an orphaned baby boy and a saboteur who is hired to blow up the levee, and you have a story that will keep you reading. I will say that it took me a good 100 pages until I was hooked by the story line and started to care for the characters, but once that happened….I had to finish. I think this could be because of the two author’s influence in the story. I find that when I read a book written by two authors, the styles get a bit muddled. Once I became accustomed to the style, the story came to life. I loved the characters of Dixie Clay and Ingersoll….he was my favorite and I found myself rooting for him and Dixie Clay.