Review: The Flood by Carol Ascher Print E-mail

The Flood(Written January 1988)

Prejudice--ethnic, racial, cultural--exists in each of us; we parrot prejudices early on from parents' and neighbors' examples. Later in life, some of us cultivate it, and a few try to disregard or even unlearn it. For some adolescents, though, learning about and mimicking prejudice is most painful: Inculcated by the family they love, the young begin to sense their elders are unacceptably flawed by bigotry.

Carol Ascher's novel The Flood explores a child's initiation into the world of prejudice. Set in Topeka, Kansas during the flood-scarred summer of 1953, 9-year-old Eva Hoffman, daughter of a first-generation family of Jewish immigrants, learns about intolerance and fear, not only from the havoc caused by the rising waters but also from the political malaise of the times: Fears of communism and racial integration have covered the town's white power structure with dread.

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