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Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the…
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Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood

by Jame Richards

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Celestia Whitcomb is a young woman from a wealthy family who spends summers at the hunting and fishing club in the mountains above Johnstown (it was this club that was responsible for the dam that broke, causing the flood). Celestia falls in love with Peter, a boy from town who works at the club for the summer. Of course, their secret romance could have dire consequences if they are discovered by Celestia's family. The author also shifts perspectives occasionally to focus on a few other individuals whose lives are affected by the flood.

It's obvious that the author has done her homework, and there's an author's note at the end, explaining where and how she deviated from the actual history. I have to admit that I am not a big fan of verse novels. This is about on par with other verse novels I've read -- a slightly more spare way of telling a story, enjoyable, but I think I would have liked it better fleshed out in prose. That's just me -- I know lots of people are really fond of the format. For those people, I think this would be a very good read. ( )
  foggidawn | Mar 1, 2012 |
This book was written in prose so it is tempting to read it quickly. Slow down, though to get the full effect of the writing. The story takes the point of view of various people who will eventually be affected by the flood. There is forbidden love, class struggle, a look into society of the day, and a fascinating explanation of how life changed during the flood. The cover is underwhelming, but the book is fantastic! Oh please, ignore the cover. ( )
  ECHSLibrary | Jan 22, 2012 |
Sixteen-year-old Celestia is a wealthy member of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, where she meets and falls in love with Peter, a hired hand who lives in the valley below, and by the time of the torrential rains that lead to the disastrous Johnstown flood of 1889, she has been disowned by her family and is staying with him in Johnstown. Includes an author's note and historical timeline. ( )
  prkcs | Jan 8, 2011 |
Set in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in the the late 1880s, Three Rivers Rising follows the stories of several people affected by the Johnstown Flood of 1889, when the South Fork Dam burst, killing more than two thousand people and destroying a number of Pennsylvanian towns. Celestia, the daughter of a wealthy Pittsburgh banker who vacations at the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, meets and falls in love with Peter, a working-class teen from Johnstown who works at the club. Kate is a nurse still recovering from her young husband's death, and Maura a young wife of a train conductor. Each person narrates his or her story through free-verse poems, and the poetry is an excellent medium through which to convey the rushing disaster of the flood and the strong emotions felt by the characters. A number of stories are told, but the primary focus is placed on Peter and Celestia, and their forbidden cross-class romance, which is nicely developed and well told, and excellently contrasted with Celestia's sister's ruinous affair. Suspense builds when they are separated during the flood, neither knowing if the other survived. Though the setting of the novel is the flood, the majority of the book takes place with the events building up to the flooding-- and not quite enough attention is placed on the flood or its aftermath; the book's resolution is too quick and too neat, and the causes of the flood are glossed over. The book does include a brief factual account of the flood, as well as a bibliography for further reading. ( )
1 vote frood42 | Nov 29, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375858857, Hardcover)

Sixteen-Year-Old Celstia spends every summer with her family at the elite resort at Lake Conemaugh, a shimmering Allegheny Mountain reservoir held in place by an earthen dam. Tired of the society crowd, Celestia prefers to swim and fish with Peter, the hotel’s hired boy. It’s a friendship she must keep secret, and when companionship turns to romance, it’s a love that could get Celestia disowned. These affairs of the heart become all the more wrenching on a single, tragic day in May, 1889. After days of heavy rain, the dam fails, unleashing 20 million tons of water onto Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in the valley below. The town where Peter lives with his father. The town where Celestia has just arrived to join him. This searing novel in poems explores a cross-class romance—and a tragic event in U. S. history.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:35 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Sixteen-year-old Celestia is a wealthy member of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, where she meets and falls in love with Peter, a hired hand who lives in the valley below, and by the time of the torrential rains that lead to the disastrous Johnstown flood of 1889, she has been disowned by her family and is staying with him in Johnstown. Includes an author's note and historical timeline.… (more)

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