When Hurricane Katrina descends on New Orleans, Kathy Zeitoun leaves town with the children while her Muslim American husband Abdulrahman remains behind to secure their business and properties, and once the levees are breached, to help in any way he can. Arrested by the National Guard, he is accused of terrorism and incarcerated without due process. In this astonishing narrative the author interweaves the background of the Zeitouns with the shocking events of this disaster to reveal a family living the American dream transformed into a nightmare.
A gripping expose that leaves you feeling hot under the collar but reassured by the courage and decency of ordinary citizens.
Winner of the American Book Award.Special note: Abdulrahman and Kathy were divorced in 2012. In July of the same year he was arrested for allegedly attacking Kathy on a public street and then charged with plotting to kill his ex-wife, her son, and another man, as well as offering a fellow inmate $20,000 to commit the crime. In July 2013, Zeitoun was tried and found not guilty of charges of attempted first-degree murder and solicitation of first-degree murder. The state's main witness, who had an extensive multi-state criminal record, was found not credible. (Source: The Times Picayune, New Orleans.)
Comments from GroupsThis book was without doubt, the best book we all have read. The discussions were in depth, although some thought the questions were directed from a publishers point of view, only. Wellington 134All that read enjoyed this book-but were sad to hear of the events that have happened since. The story was an eye-opener as to what happens after a natural disaster, something us Cantabs know about all too well. Christchurch 229,Amazing book-we couldn't help but feel very angry-frustrated at the system. Queenstown 001All the group enjoyed the book and were astounded that this could happen in America. Perhaps a bit slow to start. A few of us had visited New Orleans before the storm. All agreed it wasn't a book they would have taken out from the Library-this is what we hoped would happen. WHITBY 006,Invoked discussion about Christchurch and post-disaster consequences. Wellington 144All our group was pleased to have read this book and the general concensus was shock that the Homeland Security could act in the way they did. This book generated a lot of lively discussion but we did think Zeitoun was irresponsible to stay on in the area, especially after his wife advised him of what was happening there. An interesting book but not all enjoyed the way it was written. Tauranga 016We all liked the book-wide ranging discussion on the natural disaster itself and the insights into the human response to it. Wanaka 012