Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Hundred Hours of Night, by Anna Woltz

After Emilia's father loses his job due to a scandal involving one of the students at her school, Emilia runs away from their Amsterdam home, all the way to the Big Apple.  She arrives to discover that her lodging arrangements have fallen through and she is homeless.  But with some resourcefulness and good luck, she finds a place to stay with a boy her age and his little sister.

There are a number of other issues, including her obsessions about infections and lingering anger at her family.  But when she learns that Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on New York, she discovers that some problems can easily outshine others.  When the hurricane makes landfall and knocks out the power for over four days, she and her new friends come together in a way that Emilia never imagined possible.

The end result is a survival story with a big heart.  I enjoyed they many fascinating details about what it was like to be trapped in Manhattan during and after the storm (the author based the story on her own experience) but the the real point of the story is Emilia moving beyond her shame and anger.  We don't get to see enough of Emilia's earlier self to truly appreciate the transformation, but there is a satisfying growth in her character.

[Disclaimer:  I received an advance reviewer's copy of this book for the purpose of creating an unbiased review.  The book is slated for publication on April 26, 2016]

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