cover image The Night of the Flood: A Novel in Stories

The Night of the Flood: A Novel in Stories

Edited by E.A. Aymar and Sarah M. Chen. Down & Out, $17.95 trade paper (318p) ISBN 978-1-9465-0251-3

Each of the 14 varied and fitfully amusing stories in this solid anthology takes as its starting point the destruction of a dam and the subsequent flooding of Everton, Pa. Some of the selections, such as Wendy Tyson’s “Anything Worth Saving,” highlight a band of women, known as the Daughters, who blew up the dam as a protest against the death by lethal injection of a woman convicted of killing her two rapists. Others explore the looting and confusion that break out, such as Rob Brunet’s “Bales,” about two drug dealers who try to score big by using the flooding chaos to their advantage (“What good’s a disaster if ya don’t get in on the mayhem?”). A standout is Gwen Florio’s twisty “Marta,” which starts out as a straightforward home invasion story, but ends up showing how the chaos of the disaster can lead to a new and better life for some people. If not every entry is a winner, Aymar (You’re as Good as Dead) and Chen (Cleaning Up Finn) deserve kudos for putting together a distinctive anthology. (Apr.)