The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst

The Floating World

A dazzling debut about family, home, and grief, The Floating World takes readers into the heart of Hurricane Katrina with the story of the Boisdorés, whose roots stretch back nearly to the foundation of New Orleans. Though the storm is fast approaching the Louisiana coast, Cora, the family’s fragile elder daughter, refuses to leave the city, forcing her parents, Joe Boisdoré, an artist descended from a freed slave who became one of the city...

Details The Floating World

TitleThe Floating World
Release DateOct 17th, 2017
PublisherAlgonquin Books
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Contemporary

Reviews The Floating World

  • Diane S ☔
    Before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. A family torn apart by the refusal of one daughter to leave with the mandatory evacuation order. Changes and survival. Unfortunately I found the writing style not to my liking, just kind of disjointed and strange. Never really connected to any of the characters nor the storyline, so abandoning after fifty percent. Kept reading, was interested in the subject matter and kept hoping it would draw me in. Ac...
  • Becky
    I got my hands on an ARC of this book through a friend in the industry who thought I'd like it, and she was not wrong. This book was beautifully written. While the plot centered around death, destruction, and deteriorating familial relationships, the language coursed in a very poetic, lyrical way, and the global structure ebbed and flowed between the past and the present... which just seems fitting for a story about the effects of Hurricane Katri...
  • Devin Murphy
    This book blew me away. I loved the language and story. The fact that it is about to come out just after Houston is flooding is wild. What a great read you should jump on right NOW.
  • Kate Olson
    As dark and disturbing as Katrina herself, THE FLOATING WORLD takes readers into the most damaged neighborhoods of New Orleans, both during and after the epic storm, in this story of family, race and a city in crisis. Thanks to Algonquin Books for the review copy of this title. This book is not an easy read. It's not a page turner or a nail biter. It's not a story of a strong New Orleans rising after a devastating storm and it's not a story of a...
  • Rhiannon Johnson
    Read my review here:
  • Paige Green
    Rating:3/5Genre: Adult Historical FictionRecommended Age: 16+ (racial issues, mental illness, natural disaster)I received a free copy of this book through GrownUpReads, an off-shoot of KidLitExchange. All opinions are my own.In this dazzling debut about family, home, and grief, C. Morgan Babst takes readers into the heart of Hurricane Katrina and the life of a great city.As the storm is fast approaching the Louisiana coast, Cora Boisdoré refuses...
  • Allison
    This is story of a New Orleans family that focuses on how Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath impact them. It leapfrogs between characters with little warning and no transition, as well as jumping around in time - particularly in the case of the aging patriarch with Alzheimer's. The tiny mystery about Reyna and Cora's time in the city alone kept me reading, but the disjointed storytelling kept pulling me out of the story. Ultimately, I wasn't sur...
  • Kathleen Gray
    This isn't always the easiest book- it touches on racial issues, dysfunctional families, and the destruction wrecked by Hurricane Katrina in so many more ways than physical. Ironically, I read this in the wake of the terrible Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, making this even more of a cautionary tale than it might have been a few months ago. Babst has a writing style that forces you to read every word. The Boisdore family is not representative...
  • Jill
    This novel which takes place during and after Hurricane Katrina (which hit in August 2005) is almost unremittingly depressing. It centers on the Boisdoré family. Joe, the father, is a Creole descended from freed slaves. Tess, the mother, is from the white upper class, and is pretty much a despicable person. She “settled” for Joe when her high school crush, the white aristocratic Augie, married her best friend Madge. Madge died five years bef...
  • Tonstant Weader
    The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst examines the aftermath of Katrina through the life of a family shattered by the event. While reading it, I thought of Kai T. Erikson’s famed “Everything In Its Path” about the Buffalo Creek Flood that destroyed a small community in West Virginia and his research identifying the collective trauma as post-traumatic stress disorder. In a large part, this book is about that collective trauma and its effect ...
  • Laurie Larson-Doornbos
    October 15. Forty-seven days after landfall.The Boisdore family is collapsing, the levees of their carefully constructed life breached by the destruction that was Hurricane Katrina. The patriarch Joe, once a renowned furniture carver, drifts in and out of dementia, one moment clear-thinking, the next living in the past. His son Joe, an sculptor, has made his name in the art world with his primitive carvings, and life had been good. Joe's wife Dr...
  • Jen
    I liked this story. I wanted to like this book, I really did. But, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I didn't. I can't. The writing itself was beautifully well done, but was undermined by the disjointed chronology of the storytelling. It was extremely confusing to figure out what was going on, and when. That kind of thinking is expected in thriller novels, not a family drama, where I'm supposed to let my heart lead through the pa...
  • Rashel
    A daunting undertaking, life in the recent wake of Katrina. It jumped too much between people places and times and 1/3 of the way into the book, still nothing had happened. A woman suffers PTSD, wont talk about experiences. Sometimes the wording is vague -you have stop and consider what the author means, so to me this doesn't flow well. for example, she asks a guys name "are you Troy?" "Cousin". He doesn't answer "i'm his cousin Jim". Or "Cousin,...
  • Jeanne Boudreau
    Hurricane Katrina is the backdrop to this story of a family evolving through tragedy. Vincent has Lewey Body dementia and his son, Joe is his caregiver. Joe’s wife Tess isn’t happy about that situation. Tess is a white woman married to a Creole. She’s always been attracted to her best friend’s husband, Auggie. Cora is very fragile, mentally and won’t evacuate with her parents. Adelaide is living in New York, decides to come back home to...
  • Rebekah Frank
    I really liked this book. There were a few areas where I found the writing slightly confusing; I had to reread pages here and there to make sure I was following appropriately but overall I thought it was great. It was given to me by a friend in the industry (she thought I would like it since I had just returned from an 8 month stay in New Orleans) and she was right. It captured a very specific time in New Orleans history, one in which all the rac...
  • Deirdre
    There was nothing pretty about Hurricane Katrina, and the stories of remarkable saves and unscathed homes were far outnumbered by mind-numbing destruction. The family C. Morgan Babst creates in this debut novel is ripped apart by the storm physically rips apart the Boisdoré family, then emotionally rips apart each member in a different way. It's a mixed marriage, with a haughty wife who is a psychologist, and a artistic husband/sculptor who is t...
  • Sharon McNeil
    All though this is a serious piece of literary fiction, I would not recommend it for gleaning information on Katrina. Try Sherri Fink's Five Days at Memorial, or Douglas Brinkley's The Great Deluge. My major objection to this novel is that it jumps back and forth from one dysfunctional family member (grandfather with dementia, a young bipolar daughter, a separated bi-racial mother and father, who split upas a result of the storm: none of whom, li...
  • Kim
    A great premise (what happened to those stranded in New Orleans during and after Katrina) get bogged down in a very confusing writing style. There were so many flashbacks involving the same characters between time period only weeks apart it was impossible to keep track what was occurring now and what was before. Add to this mess - one witness with dementia and another having a mental breakdown which equaled both having hallucinations I was comple...
  • Carol
    This is the story about Katrina and the family that had to endure it!!!! This is the story of family healing and grief. As the storm rapidly approaches Cora refuses to leave the city. This is the story of leaving the family in shambles. Cora's sister Del returns to the city from a successful life in New York City. Del finds her family in ruin and apart from one another. As Del tries to find out what happened to her sister and deal with a city and...
  • Dale Cousins
    It is odd to be reading this novel centered on the storm and aftermath of Katrina as Hurricane Harvey belts Houston. I put this book down and picked it back up 3 times before it "took." The Boisdore family, (Tess, Joe , their two adult daughters, Cora and Del, and Joe's father Vincent) all struggle in the wake of the destruction of the place they've called home for decades, NOLA. The pacing of the book and the characters recalled for me those of ...
  • Jennie
    Not my cup of tea - Words in the summary like dazzling and mystery really got my hopes up. Unfortunately this was a good book - but that is all. I had hoped for a personalized story of a family dealing with Katrina - before, during and after. What I got was a family drama of people torn apart but no real depth as to the whys or causes of the issues. The book summary was written with a style I had hoped to see in the book - I was mistaken.
  • Jo
    Another Katrina story but this one goes back and forth in time from before, during, and after the flood and focuses on the daughters of a black artist and his white therapist wife. One daughter refuses to evacuate for Katrina and experiences a tragedy she cannot forget. The other daughter cannot forgive herself for leaving and comes back to try to save her sister from self-destructing as their parents’ marriage falls apart. Beautifully written.
  • Tfalcone
    Thank You Net Galley for the free ARC. I chose this book because it dealt with the flooding after Hurricane Katrina. The focus is more on one family than all of New Orleans. The evacuations force Joe and Tess to leave the city, their grown daughter stays behind. When they come back, their daughter is basically a recluse, something happened to her mind during the storm. Joe and Tess split up because of all the the turmoil from the hurricane. In th...
  • Kim
    I am always interested in reading about the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina. Overall, I enjoyed the story, especially the last part of the book. I felt that there may have been too many dream references, as I was sometimes confused about what was real and what was not. The author provided a very real sense of what it means to be a resident of an area that undergoes such a difficult time.
  • Jane Meneely
    This was an ARC from GoodReads. Great book, great storytelling. Without having experienced Katrina first-hand, this book made me feel as though I was there. The focus on a single family that was torn apart by the flood and its aftermath. A twinge of mental illness, some racial undertones, family drama, a bit of a mystery, well crafted language - all made for a great read.
  • Sandy
    I adore detail, but this writing was cared way too far. Very repetitive in description. I knew it would be depressing but the author could have had an interesting book with 100 less pages. Also, she introduces a mob of new characters during the last 2 chapters that had nothing to do with the stories plot.
  • Nathalia
    A bi-racial family physically survives hurricane Katrina but emotionally falls apart. I thought it was hard to follow at first because there were 5 different family member's whose stories you are following, and then several periphery characters that pop in and out.
  • Courtney McGrale
    This is such a beautifully written story, about a family in post-Katrina New Orleans. I was quite captivated by the ghostly feel of the book, its layers of sadness and loss. A mix of reality and dreamscapes, memories and mystery.
  • Debbie
    I gave up on page 15. 8 pages in and a character name had been spelled two different ways, over three or four times. It really bugged me, so decided it would not be worth my time to finish this book. Whoever proofread this book did not do a good job....
  • Loulou1
    Hard to follow, did not find a single character worth getting interested in. While this could be a great book dealing with an intriguing topic, the story never pulled me jn. Just read it to finish it.