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'Some people left after Katrina, and other people said, ‘Come hell or high water, I’m staying…’
When the tale of loss is so familiar and sensationalized, such as the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, it takes great courage to tell one's own story, turning a catastrophic event into a testament of human resolve. What could mankind not do if it took to heart the literal "come hell or high water" mentality that the entire city of New Orleans and its surrounding areas was forced to take? LeBlanc's writing is simple and compelling withthe eye of a historian. The contents, whether words or photographs, leave a lasting image in the reader's mind.
With entire homes wiped out, LeBlanc's anguish upon seeing the remnants of his own home constantly on the nightly news cast was palpable. Yet, in the midst of describing his journey through Katrina, he simultaneously and with conviction urges each individual to prepare for their own personal Hurricane Katrina. In whichever form it may take, its arrival is inevitable. Conjure the image of thousands of residents evacuating their homes thinking they'll be back in a day or two, only to prepare to rebuild from the ground up. What's worse, however, is the scores of individuals who stayed back, hoping to weather the storm until they realized Katrina's true devastation.
At its core, LeBlanc's work provides a roadmap to escape from mediocrity in all aspects of life, from career and profession to marriage and relationships. For those who lived through the tragedy, the narrative will rekindle heart-wrenching memories but also a sense of appreciation for the fight in man that lives and thepulse of the city that was restored to its prior grandeur. Using Katrina metaphors like "being stranded on theroof of one's life," LeBlanc has devised a series of reflective exercises to help his readers synthesize and process what works and what doesn't. Interestingly, this book encompasses just about all angles, a fitting guide not only for individual goals like money management but also corporate work settings that strive for optimal alignment and performance.
Unquestionably one of the greatest natural disasters in human history, Katrina resulted in the loss of nearly1,800 lives and thousands more forever shaken. Yet, the message of this work shines through loud and clear. Beyond the harrowing images of loss, teamwork, and collaboration, coming together as a unified whole has immense power so long as each individual gives everything. More importantly, every failure is simply success in disguise, an opportunity to uplift one above the darkness and to a brighter tomorrow.
On the one hand, the author's work forever immortalizes the survivor spirit of the city. On the other, it has the potential to inspire an awakening in the many men and women who meander through their day, rudderless, swaying in whichever direction that life takes them. LeBlanc suggests that life may take an individual in any direction the winds may blow from the north or the south, east or west. But people shouldbe so deeply rooted in their ferocity of spirit and in the values that make them human that though they may sway, they will certainly not break. Overall, LeBlanc does a commendable job of seamlessly weaving in his personal journey with the tragedy and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, all while delivering an ideal self-helpbook that will undoubtedly get any audience's inspirational juices flowing.
Mihir Shah, The US Review of Books
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Come Hell or High Water – Life Lessons from Hurricane Katrina, Facing Life’s Greatest Challenges No Matter What
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