November 17, 2015

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

Five Days

I finished this book about three weeks ago, but I'm just now getting around to writing about it because it took awhile to process.

The book is broken up into two sections. The first section recounts the five days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. The storm itself was bad enough, breaking windows in the hospital, but after the levee broke the water rose around the building and flooded the basement. The basement where the hospital's electrical systems and backup generators were housed. The staff and patients spent five days without electricity to provide medical care before they were evacuated.

The second half is about the criminal charges brought against a doctor and two nurses who were accused of euthanizing patients who were too sick or too large to be evacuated.

It's a big, sad, terrifying book. I can't decide which side the author is on, signifying that the narrative is pretty balanced.

I'm not going to tell you how it ends. That would spoil it. If you are at all interested in this kind of disaster narrative, pick this one up.