The Flood, by Emile Zola was a gripping story for me, and one I could not put down until I had read the last word. The 72-page novella/short story had me in its clenches, and I found myself holding my breath, at times.
It concerns a man named Louis Roubien, the patriarch of a large family who all live together on his large farm. They all live in peace, and lead an extremely happy life together, each one working towards the goal of production of the land for not only selling produce, etc., but also for their daily existence. The farm is a fruitful one, and they live in wealth with nothing to lack for.
All of their needs are met, until the event of the disastrous flood, a flood beyond all floods, which Zola describes with extreme intensity and amazing word imagery. Every minute detail that this reader could think of is depicted within the stages of the flood’s beginning until its ending.
I had flashbacks to Hurricane Katrina and the extreme flooding, and the images on the TV. I flashed back to the horrendous earthquake on March 11, 2011, in Japan, with the accompanying tsunami and the floods that stormed the landscape, and how I remember not being able to fathom what I was seeing on the news reports. And, I recently watched the TV describing the terrible floods in Thailand, consuming lives and land.
Zola’s brilliant in depicting moods, fear, torment, tragedy, individual reactions, and all-consuming moments of horror. The story line is not one that readers can easily erase from their mind.
I was in awe of Zola’s masterful writing. The Flood, by Emile Zola, although written in 1880, could be a story told regarding floods that have occurred within the past ten years, and written by modern journalists.