What is Raft People About?
Raft People, by author ML Katz, is a story of how a global catastrophe, like a sea level rise, affects some average people in a Texas Gulf Coast suburb. Having been through some disasters myself, I know that there is a period of time when average people just have to “hunker down” and fend for themselves. Government and community services are stretched too thin to help everybody.
These can be hard times because we have to go without basic services like electricity and emergency transportation. These are also times when neighbors tend to pull together. So, in my memory, these disasters have been the worst of times and the best of times!
The narrator is Liz Green. She is a rebellions and troubled teenager at the beginning of the Big Flood. Liz Green lives with her brothers and single mother. As her family tries to cope with the impending disaster, Liz must battle her own serious mental illness. It is aggravated by the disaster and the fact that she is running out of medication! As troubles mount, she begins to mature and find her competence, but the trauma of her experiences may be something she will never truly outlive.
Since very bad luck should be balanced by some good luck, Liz Green’s neighbors include a vet, ex-Navy diver, and a former Naval engineer. Her own brother, Mark, is quiet and unsocial kid, who also happens to be something of a savant when it comes to engineering and building.
Escape routes are clogged or blocked off by stalled traffic. The military and the state government becomes totally overwhelmed trying to cope with millions of people in the endangered areas. Meanwhile, a website called RaftPeople.com helps ordinary people cope with the disaster by building a community of threatened people who plan to build their own homemade crafts so they can float out of the flooding areas.
Was Raft People a Good Book?
If you are looking for zombies or gore, you may not appreciate Raft People. It is a realistic portrayal of the gradual disintegration of society as millions attempt to evacuate and basic serves are lost. If you like a good novel with realistic characters that you actually find yourself caring about, I think you will enjoy this yarn as much as I did!
This book is not a pulse pounding thriller, but a detailed narration that sucked me in slowly until I could not stop reading to find out what happened next.
What Kind Of Book Is Raft People?
This book fits into the loose genre of science fiction, though it would be more accurate to apply the tighter categories of post-apocalyptic, dystopian, and adventure. It is also a coming of age story about family relationships. Ordinary people may not turn into supermen, but they do manage to rise above themselves in order to cope with the impending disaster.
It also gives you some hints about what the future holds for the main characters. They learn to subsist, or even thrive, in a very changed society. They have to deal with a lot more problems, but the human spirit endures and they hold onto hope and cope with their past memories.