Five Days at Memorial

This is not a newly-released book, and I have read excerpts from it before, as well as heard about it on MPR. However, I was compelled to read it in full after a holiday story this year about Christmas lights being seen in Charity Hospital, another one of central hospitals closed after the flood. When you walk through New Orleans, even today, you realize that Katrina is not a 10-year-past incident, but is now, for better or for worse, a part of the story of a remarkable city.

And so I read the book for the story, and the first part of the book told it well. It comes as close as any account I have read to actually living the experience, the agonizing pain and decisions and not-knowing. It's totally gripping.

Part 2 ("The Reckoning") loses this urgency, but gives important consideration into the investigation of the patient deaths (and at least there was an investigation). The Epilogue then gives a summary of lessons learned.

And that's the power of a book like this. Why read it now, seven years after the ProPublica article and eleven years after the flood? Because I am aft arid we still have not learned those lessons....

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


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