Monday, December 26, 2011

What So Proudly We Hailed - James Howard

Publisher:  CreateSpace
Pages:  280
Source:   Received a Review copy from author
Genre:  Adult, Realistic Fiction

One family, one old boat, one test of faith to stay alive. Imagine what would happen if eighty percent of the United States were without power for three or four months. All banking and commercial transfers locked up; funds inaccessible. Wholesale and retail distribution shut down; no computers to manage sales. Passenger and freight lines grind to a halt; no electricity for the fuel pumps. No cell phone or landline service; systems down indefinitely. And the worst aspect of all; a total breakdown of law and order. This is the setting of James Howard's novel, What So Proudly We Hailed. The unthinkable has happened; a limited nuclear missile strike has destroyed the power grid beyond any immediate repair. The protagonist, Jason Ribault, sensing the societal breakdown to come, flees with his family in an old cabin cruiser to wait out the worst of the chaos behind the deserted barrier islands of the South Carolina coast. There they listen to unfolding events on a short-wave radio, not the least of which concerns a hostile political influence that seeks to seize control of a nation struggling to right itself once again. Pursued by their own immediate dangers, the family is pushed farther and farther into the desolate salt marshes where they find other families in hiding. Eventually, anxious to unite with a family member in danger, they turn back into the chaos, to see the full extent of what happened to the America they knew. Electric with page-turning suspense, What So Proudly We Hailed is an eye-opening book every American must read.

My Thoughts:
How prepared are we in the United States if the Unthinkable happens?  A couple of years ago I gave my seventh and eighth grade students a writing assignment.  Something has happened to the world.  There is no longer any electricity.  I had the climate switch as well.  The north got hot and the south cold.  I asked them how they would survive and how they think people around the world would handle it.  It was an interesting concept and way to get students to think and problem solve.  This book does the same thing.  From the minute Jason Ribault figures out that a nuclear device has gone off in America he sets in motion a plan to protect his family. He, his wife Valerie, and their children stock up on necessary items and prepare their boat for the chaos they know will soon follow.  They leave their son Jeremy behind with his girlfriend and her father who is a pastor.  They leave on their boat and monitor the chaos form it.  They determine that things are only getting worse.  This is not just a post-apocalyptic story.  It is also a message of hope.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Christian message that is so engrained in the story.  I know that there will be both Christians and Non-Christians who will feel it is too preachy.  I am not one of them.  I think this is a book that should be read by all.  It is a great book with a great message and I look forward to reading what ever else the author comes out with.

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