Riding Out The Hurricane
Release Date: 1 October 2019
A children's book inspired by hurricane katrina.
Inspired by her life in New Orleans and her experiences in evacuation centres after Hurricane Katrina, Maeve Mc Mahon writes a powerful and moving fictional account of true events.
…a beautiful and compelling novel about faith, hope and love.
About the Author
Maeve Mc Mahon
Born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Maeve grew up in a devoutly Catholic family. From her early teens, she felt drawn to become a nun and on completion of her secondary education, she entered the Dominican Novitiate, destined to become a teaching Sister. In her mid-twenties, Maeve was sent on mission to teach African-American children in the Deep South of the United States. New Orleans became her home, where over the span of thirty years, she was a teacher, Principal and school founder, honoured in the White House as an outstanding educator, in 1990.
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina’s winds were wreaking havoc on her beloved city of adoption, Maeve was forced to evacuate with thousands of men, women and children. Her experience of homelessness during that time, teaching evacuee children in shelters and listening to heart wrenching stories of the part played by faith in survival, inspired her to write, ‘Riding Out The Hurricane,’ a powerful and moving fictional account of true events. At present, Maeve lives in a Dominican community in Dublin, Ireland. She continues to enjoy writing articles for religious magazines, working on her third book and tutoring disadvantaged young men and women who dream of gaining access to college and acquiring a degree.
Endorsements and Reviews
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“…a beautiful and compelling novel about faith, hope and love … when Hurricane Katrina’s carnage was matched by heroism and human compassion…”
Alison O’Riordan, Irish Central
Marigny Dupuis, New Orleans Times Picayune
Moya Nulty, Teacher, St Brigid's Primary School, Dublin
Mary Esther Judy, Charlie Byrne's Bookshop, Galway, Ireland
“Jade Williams is an ordinary 12-year-old girl living with her grandmother in New Orleans poorer quarters in 2005. She is kind, caring, sometimes stroppy and busy with school and her friends. On August 29, her world is ripped apart when Hurricane Katrina hits the city, destroying the city and leaving incredible tragedy in its’ wake. Jade, her grandmother and their elderly neighbour, Mary Lou, survive by climbing onto the roof. Jade must find the inner strength to survive and protect her grandmother, Mary Lou and the little dog, Bunty, she rescues from a bridge during the aftermath. But the journey to safety takes Jade places she never thought she’d go. And ‘home’ becomes a foreign land that she may never see again.
McMahon gives us a vivid, dramatic picture of the aftermath of one of the most pivotal environmental events in recent history as seen through the eyes of a young survivor. With an accurate, genuine voice, the story is told with compassion, gently giving insight into the traumatic situations faced by thousands of children at the time. Jade is a believable character and her inner thoughts, fears and frustrations pull the reader into her life, riveting us to the page. This detailed account of the devastation and determination of the human spirit is expressed in clear language and storytelling, relaying an exceptional tale of faith and human endurance at a time when it is easy to lose all hope, to give up. And yet, there is humour and light-heartedness, which makes this book a compelling and, ultimately uplifting read with much to think about. McMahon was living and working in New Orleans at the time, and her experiences there add an insight that one could not possibly express without having lived through it. Winner of the Nautilus Award, Riding Out The Hurricane tackles big issues, such as racism, displacement, poverty and environmental catastrophe in an accessible way, as well as being a beautiful read. Ages 10+”
Mary Esther Judy
Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Galway, Ireland
McMahon gives us a vivid, dramatic picture of the aftermath of one of the most pivotal environmental events in recent history.