Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Book Review: Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood

It's Sunday instead of Friday, but here is this week's book review reposted from Sacramento Book Review. More reviews in every genre can be read at Sacramento Book Review and San Francisco Book Review. (Go take a peek.) Meanwhile, we are in Spain now, and I will be posting more about our visit in a couple of days. (Stay tuned.)

So: the review: This wonderful YA novel is written in poetry (a new reading experience for me.) It's a wonderful book I won't forget.

Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood

By Jame Richards

Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 293 pages

In this compelling novel, three stories come together, like the three rivers of the title.

Celestia summers with her family at Lake Conemaugh, a reservoir created by the South Fork Dam. She and Peter, a resort worker, fall in love. Her father forbids the relationship. But, Celestia is determined to live her own life. When the dam breaks and floods Johnstown below, she and Peter manage to save each other, surviving disease and a near drowning.

Maura, a young mother with three children, lives on the banks of Little Conemaugh River. She is married to a train conductor. As the waters rush toward East Conemaugh and the towns below, her husband blows his train’s whistle long enough to warn others and save lives.

Kate’s fiancĂ© died in a river accident years before. She has become a nurse, dedicated to caring for others. A nursing job brings her to East Conemaugh in time to help those fleeing the river torrents – including Kate and Peter, Maura and her family, and survivors of Johnstown where the flood wreaks the worst damage.

The lyrical language of this novel written in verse sweeps one into the story and doesn’t let go.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Varadan

Remember, you can read more book reviews at: Sacramento Book Review and San Francisco Book Review


Jess said...

This sounds very interesting! I've read David McCullough's nonfiction book on this topic and would love to read a fictionalized account. Thanks so much for the review!

Rosi said...

Well, another book for my tall to-read pile! This one sounds great. Thanks for the post.

Richard said...


Jackee said...

I've heard of this one and it sounds like a great one!

And you're in SPAIN?! So very jealous but very excited for you. :o)

Have a wonderful time!

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Thanks for the comments. It's a very good read. And it surprised me. I like to read poetry, but I never expected to enjoy a novel in verse. One of the things I like about reviewing books, is that I don't always know what I'll be reading, and I've had some good adventures that opened new doors.

Rachna Chhabria said...

The title Three Rivers Rising sounds great as does the book. Thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

Great review! If you liked this YA book-in-verse, let me recommend Karen Hesse's Newberry-winning Out of the Dust, which is about the Oklahoma dustbowl.

Jame said...

Thanks for the review and for giving verse a chance!

The Fourth Wish is a great title---good luck with it!