Hundred Year Flood by Miriam Misenko
Two rubbery, pink slices of Oscar Mayer bologna slapped atop a snowy layer of Wonder Bread, then adorned with a Jackson Pollock splatter of French’s yellow mustard. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Day in and day out, Gertie mentally tallies the endless number of bologna sandwiches that she has prepared for her little brother who lives in the crawlspace of their home, while at the same time she struggles to find the perfect method of killing their mother who put him there. Told from three wildly different points of view, Hundred Year Flood captures the two decade odyssey of a disturbed family’s life. The mother, Lorna, is a pill-popping alcoholic who can’t seem to dig her way out of a stupor of depression while also caring for her children. Freddie, her oldest, succeeds at creating a promising career as a young criminal, while bouncing in and out of the juvenile detention system. Gertie personifies the classically troubled middle child, burdened with the responsibility of caring for her two brothers. The younger brother, Cameron, at the innocent age of two, was forced to survive in the dank crawlspace of their Philadelphia home, never again to see the light of day. As Gertie evolves through childhood, adolescence and into young adulthood, there is but one constant force driving her forward—the awareness that she must punish her mother for imprisoning her baby brother. During the storm of the century, a frightening truth comes to light when the four lives of the family collide in that dark crawlspace beneath their house. The time has come to face the chilling details that are revealed in the rising flood waters.