A sparkling debut set in Mark Twain's boyhood town, Flood is a story of what it means to be lost . . . and found.
Laura Brooks fled her hometown of Hannibal, Missouri, ten years ago after a historic flood and personal heartbreak. Now she's returned unannounced, and her family and friends don't know what to make of it. She says she's just home for a brief visit and her high-school reunion, but she's carrying too much luggage for that: literal and metaphorical. Soon Laura is embroiled in small-town affairs -- the contentious divorce of her rowdy best friend Rose; the campaign of her twelve-year-old godson, Bobby, to become the town's official Tom Sawyer; and the renewed interest of the man Laura once thought she'd marry, Sammy McGuire.
Leaving town when she was eighteen had been Laura's only option. She feared a stifling existence in a town ruled by its past, its mythological devotion to Mark Twain, and the economic and racial divide that runs as deep as the Mississippi River. She can't forget that fateful Fourth of July when the levees broke or the decisions that still haunt her. Now as the Mississippi rises again, a deep wound threatens to reopen, and Laura must decide if running away once more might be the best way to save herself.
In her debut novel, Young introduces readers to Hannibal, Mo., a town seemingly stuck in time, divided racially and unable to escape the long shadow of Mark Twain and his notoriously mischievous adventurers, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Laura Brooks is on an adventure of her own. Ten years have passed since she fled Hannibal as the Mississippi River inundated the weak levies built by locals. She's been gone a decade when she is laid off from her job in Florida and forced to return to her childhood home and figure out a new direction for her life. She tells her mother she's come back just briefly to attend her high school reunion. However, with another flood looming and tensions among the townsfolk running high, Hannibal sucks Laura back, forcing her to face her past, including a former love interest and her absent father, while searching for stability in her future. Filled with pithy dialogue and cultural references, Young's writing ties Laura's journey of self-discovery squarely to Hannibal and its famous young troublemakers. As Laura reckons with her past, Young reckons with Twain's influence on the region. This debut is a wonderful story of home, hope, and the ties that bind us to family.