Lyla: Through My Eyes – Natural Disaster Zones
Author: Fleur Beale
Reviewed by SYLVIA BARNETT
The story of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake now belongs to all Cantabrians living through the earthquake on 22 February, just as it does to Lyla, who experienced the 6.3 magnitude earthquake and learned how amidst the adversity, devastation and ruin community spirit can bind a city in the midst of disaster.
“Its never going to stop. We’re going to die. Stop. Please stop,” Lyla lamented as the earth shook beneath her, as the Christchurch she knew and loved fell apart around her. As Lyla and her friends steadied themselves after the initial earthquake, the dust from fallen buildings blew about over the rubble. Lyla realised the destruction around her was serious, and that there would be lives lost in this quake. The novel progresses through Lyla’s experiences after the quake, such as the lack of running water, electricity, missing people, and constant threatening aftershocks.
Told through the eyes of a teenager, Lyla’s story is sure to resonate with all who lived through the quake, endured sleepless nights between crumpled walls as the earth shook beneath them, as water was rationed, as the death toll rose, and as life became altogether altered for the community of Christchurch.
Fleur Beale, author of 20 novels, takes her readers through the experience of February 22nd, so that all can sense what is must feel like to live through a natural disaster as devastating as the Christchurch earthquake. Lyla’s story is a powerful tale of what the youth of Canterbury endured, and is testament to the strength and love that came from the earthquake.
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