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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  326 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Two mothers and their teenage daughters, whose lives collide in a fatal car crash, take turns narrating Ellen Urbani's breathtaking novel, Landfall, set in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Eighteen-year-olds Rose and Rosebud have never met but they share a birth year, a name, and a bloody pair of sneakers. Rose’s quest to atone for the accident that kills Rosebud, a young wo ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published August 11th 2015 by Forest Avenue Press
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  326 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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Angela M
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
4+ stars

Two mothers have two daughters , Rose and Rosy , fatherless children , living a state away , yet in the same confinement of loneliness and isolation, families of two. I was overwhelmed by the sadness . I was deeply moved by the intensity of the mother - daughter bonds. These characters are brought together by a gruesome accident in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina .

It's fitting that this book is being published in the same month as the
10 year anniversary of Katrina and the story here
Diane S ☔
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Two young woman, one white one black find their fates entwined during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Dual storylines that come together because of a tragic event. We learn the girl's back stories and I have to admit to liking Rosebud's story more especially in the beginning. Rose's took a little longer to grow on me, found the original telling of her search to be a little awkward. This is a book where the writing gets stronger as the story progresses.

Hurricane Katrina and the descriptions o
Tom Mathews
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ellen Urbani’s debut novel is an intriguing tale that takes place in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Eighteen year-old Rose Aiken survives an automobile accident that claims the life of her mother and a pedestrian, a young black woman with no identification. At a loss for what to do after the death of her mother, Rose takes it upon herself to track down the family of the dead girl, whose name turns out to be Rosy, and tell them what happened to her. Thus begins a story that alternate ...more
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Anyone who has Grandchildren knows that you will glimpse bits and pieces of your own children's earlier selves in their behavior and expressions sometimes. This book uses that knowledge to tell a story with a twist about two mother -daughter sets whose lives become intwined during a fatal car accident in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It's two stories really; one about resilience and relationships , the other about the atrocities of the aftermath of Katrina. If you're like me you will have ...more
Full review to follow. This novel is a group read for members of On The Southern Literary Trail, December, 2015. Author Ellen Urbani will be joining us to discuss her novel.
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sp, owned
Un magnifique roman qui revient sur la catastrophe engendrée par le passage de l'ouragan Katrina sur La Nouvelle-Orléans en 2005. Il dépeint avec justesse la panique et la détresse de ses habitants, les ratés des dirigeants et des services publics, mais aussi le racisme, encore et toujours.
Ce roman est aussi le récit des destins croisés de deux jeunes filles qui n'ont en apparence rien à voir l'une avec l'autre, mais que la vie va faire se percuter... et qui pourraient avoir bien plus en commun
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars: An emotional, heartbreaking and hopeful book about loss and survival set during the landfall of Hurricane Katrina.

It has been a week since Hurricane Katrina roared ashore, devastating New Orleans. Gertrude and her daughter Rose in Alabama, like many Americans, have watched the disaster unfold live on their television. They feel compelled to help. Gertrude and Rose pack up clothes and supplies in their car and head to donate them. Before they get there, a brief moment of distraction,
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
A perfectly timed release around the 10 year anniversary of Katrina from a great new voice in Southern Fiction. A story of both beauty and sadness. A story of two single mother homes and their families lives before and after the hurricane that rocked the South. I became completely immersed in this story set in Tuscaloosa, AL and the New Orleans 9th Ward. Though a bit predictable at the end, it's a very well written story. The characters were flawed, beautiful and sad. There is some tough subject ...more
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Un superbe roman qui nous raconte l’histoire de Rose et de Rosy dont la route va se croiser tragiquement. Leurs vies se dévoilent, liées par de nombreux aspects mais en particuliers par les rapports mère-fille très semblables qui ont marqués leurs vies. En plein sud des Etats-Unis et au coeur de l’Ouragan Katrina, Landfall est un roman passionnant et marquant.

Ma chronique :
Landfall is about four people, two mothers and their daughters, Gertrude and Rose in Tuscaloosa AL, and Cilla and Rosy in New Orleans, LA. The backdrop of the story is Hurricane Katrina.

Cilla and Rosy endure the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina and at one point Rosy travels to Tuscaloosa AL to try and get help for herself and her mother Cilla who is bi-polar, and because of the hurricane she does not have the medicine she requires. At the same time or shortly thereafter Gertrude and Rose gather
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
A story about two similarly-named women affected and connected by Hurricane Katrina, Landfall is, at times, nail-bitingly tense, and at others, heartbreaking. Rosy's story of survival and escape from the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans is raw with pain. Rose's story is a long journey toward redemption that even she doesn't realize is necessary. Urbani's storm landscape is brilliantly informed by her previous work as a federal disaster/trauma specialist. Landfall is a perfect storm of disaster, tra ...more
Susan Becraft
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Landfall is a truly remarkable book. At first blush, I expected yet another heart wrenching story about Katrina, the hurricane that outdid all hurricanes, but this story is much, much more. Cilla, her daughter Rosebud (Rosy), Gertrude and her daughter Rose narrate the story from worlds apart, though living in relatively close proximity.

Gertrude and Rose live in Tuscaloosa, AL, where Bama football is king. For reasons not understood by Rose, Gertrude constantly moves them from one a
Christi Craig
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Somehow this web of women had become her storm shelter, her makeshift family, and if any part of it were to be salvaged she knew she needed to do it alone." ~ from LANDFALL by Ellen Urbani

In an article for The Atlantic, Julie Beck says, “Storytelling…fictional or nonfictional…is a way of making sense of the world around us,” and Margaret Atwood in Negotiating with the Dead says she writes “to bear witness.” We all have different reasons for putting pen to paper, but Ellen Urbani satisfies both
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Worthy of a Pulitzer. How to come up with an original and creatively written novel that is true about the events following Hurricane Katrina and the breaching of the New Orleans' levies? Ellen Urbani has done it. Amazing portrayal of what happens when our fear of what's not real drives our behavior. The truths about this story apply equally to the events going on today with the Syrian refugees. It is always about people marching ... Jews forced marches to the ovens. Native Americans forced march ...more
Danielle DeNoble
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
(ARC) Landfall by Ellen Urbani
Gertrude and Rose. Rosy and Cilla. Two tiny families whose lives come crashing together, in more ways than one, in the aftermath of tragedy.
As everyone already knows, Hurricane Katrina destroyed more than just buildings and roads. It ripped apart families, devastated lives, and continues to taint the memories of those left after the waters receded. Also, the attack on the World Trade Center shook the entire nation to its core. Watching those towers fall on the tele
Anna At A Wondrous Bookshelf
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, fiction
Ellen Urbani's second novel Landfall is a beautifully written tale of two girls, their mothers, and the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. The book is written from the alternating perspective of these two teenagers, Rose and Rosebud (Rosy), who share the same name and birth year. The book describes how their destinies merge, and develops into a surprising twist and unexpected ending.

At first I wasn't sure I was going to like this book, but Urbani's writing is gorgeous, her voice is convincing, and
Kelly Kittel
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ellen is a master of description and it behooves one to have a thesaurus handy as she wields her extensive vocabulary easily and often. Her rendition of the storm itself and of the Superdome were superb. One of my favorite lines describes the latter, which heretofore unbeknownst to me was built on the former site of the Girod Street Cemetery, "Thirteen acres of structural steel framing stretch up 273 feet from the unholy ground, a towering testament to the American propensity to cheer black men ...more
Tina Buster
Jul 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
*Thanks to Forest Avenue Press for granting me access to a digital review copy of Landfall in Edelweiss.*

Rose and Rosy have never met, but they have a few important things in common. They are the same age; each of them has a close, but strained relationship with her troubled single mother; and both of their lives are forever altered and their histories entwined by tragic events in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

There is much to like about this novel. The story is engaging and the characters
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well written with some very dramatic scenes. Some great factual info about hurricane Katrina in the mix, but mostly centers on the two main characters, Rose and Rosie, in the aftermath of the storm. You will need to pay close attention as you read, as it is easy (or at least it was for me) to get confused between the lives of the two, since they both had basically have the same name and lived with single mothers. Also must watch the time frame of events, as it jumps around a bit as well. Nice tw ...more
Marin Thomas
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Landfall by Author Ellen Urbani is an emotionally powerful novel that will steal your breath just like Katrina’s gale force winds.

Urbani doesn’t sugar coat the issues of poverty, race relations, and mental illness that affect her characters. You will wince and cringe at some of the mother-daughter scenes in this novel yet other scenes are so poignant they’ll leave you with tears in your eyes. Rosebud was a compelling character and the young woman will stay with you days after you’ve read the fi
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
The book was engaging and wistful without being extremely treacly. A fine read covering a wide range of issues: mental illness, lost love, filial devotion, co-dependency, the government's poor response to Hurricane Katrina. Most of the characters were well drawn, perhaps with the exception of the detective who was a bit cartoonish. Although slightly predictable as one reaches the two-thirds mark, the rapid developments at the end surprise. I read a pre-publication version. It's supposed to be re ...more
Vicki Merkel
Apr 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting story but I found it a bit hard to follow the storyline shifts. The story shifts between characters, place, and time. I would suggest reading it in long stretches.

A good deal of creativity regarding the main characters. Katrina the hurricane is sort of another character but not the main character.

I heard the author speak st a book signing and she was an engaging person. She seemed very committed to presenting Katrina accurately.
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Landfall is a story of two women, Rose and Rosy, who share a name and a birth year and whose lives intersect due to hurricane Katrina. The story is as intense as the storm itself as Rose attempts to track down Rosy's family after being in a car wreck that claimed both Rosy's life and that of Rose's mother, Gertrude. We learn about the lives of both girls along with a view of the hurricane and it's tragic aftermath. The story is heartbreaking, sad, and intense.
Brianne Helaudais
Mar 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Book received for free from GoodReads First Reads

I enjoyed this book. Most of the characters were likeable and the story moved very fast. There was an underlying sadness to the story because of the car accident and the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina. It wasn't too much though and there was also a sense of hope. I really enjoyed the ending as well. There was a twist that I didn't see coming. Overall, a great story.
Jacques Filippi
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Overall a very good novel. Great twist at the end. Very interesting characters; just a little too much unnecessary background information which made me skip bits here and there. I read the advance reader's copy, so maybe the editing will repair the loose parts. The author's writing and her characters' language are colorful and vibrant, makes the story come alive.
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: only-for-me
Two teenage fatherless girls named Rose/Rosy find each other in a tragic outcome during Hurricane Katrina. That is the story line - but it is really layers of an onion of each character being peeled back, further and examined layer by layer in a complex story telling method that read deep, slow, but yet very satisfying.
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book transported me back to two cities I love. It let me see what they became after Katrina, all through the eyes of two young women whose bravery, courage and grit made me cheer for them both. Great books like this stay with you and change your heart.
Lydia Wilkinson
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two stories, separate lives that intertwine and an unexpected ending!

Great read set during and post Katrina in Louisiana and Alabama. Emotional ups and downs as the stories of 2 girls unfolds.
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Definitely with reading. Interesting characters and exploration of love and loss in many forms.
I'm very interested in post Katrina experiences and this novel provides some powerful writing about that.
Drags a bit mid-novel but does pick up towards end with interesting plot twist.
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great book! The characters are unusual and charming. The story is vividly told, with a surprise ending. It grabs you and doesn't let go.
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Ellen Urbani is the author of Landfall (2015, Forest Avenue Press), a work of contemporary historical fiction, and the memoir When I Was Elena (2006, The Permanent Press; a BookSense Notable selection). She has a BA from the University of Alabama and an MA from Marylhurst University. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times and numerous anthologies, and has been widely excerpted. She’s revie ...more
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“Superstition, as indigenous to Louisiana as gators and Tabasco, holds that the spirits of the dead avenge any disruption of their bodies, which makes one wonder at the rancor released on the 1957 day when fifty-five white families re-interred their beloved in Hope Mausoleum after the Rt. Rev. Girault M. Jones, Bishop of Louisiana, deconsecrated the Girod Street Cemetery, condemning every last African American bone to anonymity in a mass grave in Providence Memorial Park. From that pogrom grew the Superdome. Thirteen acres of structural steel framing stretch up to 273 feet from the unholy ground, a towering testament to the American propensity to cheer black men into the end zones and desert them entirely six points later.” 1 likes
“Before they were even fully cooked, Rose’s best ideas wound up brewing in a stew of her mother’s admonishments.” 0 likes
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