"The City of Refuge,"" by Tom Piazza tells the story of two families impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The book follows the two families through the storm and their many different living locations throughout the book. The Williams family who lives in the Lower Ninth ward and the Donaldson family who is originally from Midwest. It also follows the families through their decision on returning back to New Orleans or not. The readers are giving a feel of both families from the men in charge. In the opening of the book it gives us a feel of how New Orleans and both families are before the storm hits. In "The City of Refuge"" the Williams family are able to survive life after the storm because they were able to find happiness in Texas although they were damaged.
In the opening of "The City of Refuge"" it starts off with a parade and this is where we are first introduced to the Williams family. The first character we are introduced to is Samuel "SJ " Williams; he is a widower and works as a carpenter. SJ Williams's carpentry skills were passed down from his father to where he tried to pass those skills down to his nephew. In the book Piazza describes SJ's character as a person who was able to take care of himself but also his family too. "SJ knew how to take care of himself, and how to take care of his family too. And one needed to know that " (11). SJ Williams felt as though it was his right to take care of his family. Throughout the book we learn that SJ still mourns the death of his wife and copes with her death by working hard. Together the family resides in the Lower Ninth Ward Neighborhood. .
Then there is Lucy Williams who is SJ's older sister. Tom Piazza describes Lucy as a person who was mean at one moment but then the next moment sweet like nothing happened. " And that was Lucy, mean and evil one moment, but then gone just as quick " (4). Lucy Williams was able to support herself with the disability checks that she received each month and also by sometimes helping a friend braid hair.