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Balsamic Moon

Balsamic Moon

By: Alan Gartenhaus
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: October 25, 2022
ISBN: 978-1639885770
Reviewed by: Dianne Woodman
Review Date: November 10, 2022

Balsamic Moon by Alan Gartenhaus is a heart-rending and uplifting fictional story of two people from diverse backgrounds and life experiences who are caught up in the aftermath of the destruction left behind by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Doreen Williams and Richard Girard live in the same neighborhood but are not acquainted with each other until circumstances outside their control bring them together. Even though there is a mandatory evacuation mandate due to the severe weather threat of Hurricane Katrina, an enormous and powerful storm, Doreen and Richard decide not to evacuate their homes. After the worst of the storm seems to be over, the neighborhood is flooded. Richard rescues Doreen from her house, and the two of them, along with Doreen’s dog, take refuge in the attic of Richard’s house. However, they are facing a grave situation. Richard is suffering from injuries he incurred while trying to rescue a cat, and there is very little water or food. Will the two adults and the dog be rescued, or will Hurricane Katrina cost them their lives?

Gartenhaus does not shy away from portraying the extent of the tangible and intangible damage after Hurricane Katrina makes landfall. Readers are given in-depth perspectives into how two people cope with their decisions to ride out the storm and take their chances. The author’s creative use of sensory language immerses readers into the story. It allows them to visualize the devastation and see the different ways people react when they are suddenly and unexpectedly thrust into dealing with the fallout from a weather-related disaster that they are ill-equipped to handle. Readers gain an up-close and personal view into the physical and emotional toll it takes on the people who do not leave the neighborhood and hope to be rescued.

The story includes the development of an unlikely friendship between two people, the value of familial love, heartbreak, shared precious moments, and sacrifices. Readers are also shown how much of an indelible mark is left on people who experience a major life-changing event, coping mechanisms for dealing with devastating loss, and the inner strength called upon in the face of tremendous hardship.

Balsamic Moon is a story that will touch the hearts of those who read it. It shows the power of what people can endure when a natural disaster strikes and puts survival in jeopardy, as well as tangible personal property that has sentimental value and is closely linked to precious memories.

Quill says: A soul-stirring story of heartbreak, loss, and resilience in the face of dire circumstances.

For more information on Balsamic Moon, please visit the author's website at:

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