In Balsamic Moon by Alan Gartenhaus, a sudden flood compels neighbors to struggle for survival. Faced with the impending danger and the imminent threat to life, will two neighbors who have been indifferent to each other work together for a solution? Doreen Williams is an Afro-American single mother whose relationship with her neighbor, Richard Girard, a gay man who keeps to himself, has been nothing but cordial. That is until Hurricane Katrina hits and they find themselves in the attic as the water rises below. Heat, scarce supplies, and fear for those they love are a few of the things that worry them. Can they pull through the ordeal together?
This historical novel gives readers an idea of what it feels like to be trapped in a hurricane. The exploration of the relationship between Richard and Doreen is impeccably accomplished. They are just mere neighbors, and even if Doreen has thought about bringing food to Richard, the loner, from time to time, they are not close. Just neighbors. The flood opens a new door for them to experience what is most essential in humanity and as they live through each grueling moment, inner worlds open and they discover the beauty of each other. Richard has been a loner for a long time; he has suffered loss, and he prefers to be alone. These characters are elaborately written and believable. A novel that will lift your spirit, fill you with the warmth of humanity and keep you rooting for the two key characters. I couldn't put this down. Balsamic Moon is one of the stories you read and pass down.