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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Surrounded by Death and Destruction – The 1900 Galveston Hurricane Diary of Emelise Carson
reviewed by Jim Guidry
Monday, February 23, 2015

I have recently read another novel on the Great Storm of 1900. 

Olivia Orbringer, a high school student at Indiana Connections Academy, has written “Surrounded by Death and Destruction – The 1900 Galveston Hurricane Diary of Emelise Carson”, a self-published novel that she says is intended for children ages 10 and older, but actually is a good read for adults as well.

The book is written from the vantage point of Emelise Carson, a teenager, who moves to Galveston with her family prior to the storm, and her story details the daily lives of her father, mother and siblings, including a sister who is a volunteer in training to become a Catholic Nun at the St. Mary’s Orphan Asylum.

As was the case when I was reading Dr. William Merrell’s historical novel about the 1900 Hurricane, “Henry Sampson and the Great Galveston Storm”, the knowledge of the death and destruction to come loomed heavily over the narrative of the daily lives of those who would be victims.  The story includes the period before, during and after the storm.

The novel includes fictional accounts of actual people who lived through the drama, including Isaac Cline, the meteorologist; Clara Barton, founder of the International Red Cross and William Murney, an orphan who survived the storm that destroyed the orphanage.

The book is very well written, especially by a young person living so far from Galveston Island.  I recommend it for a weekend diversion. 




Remembering Jim Guidry Lest We Forget


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