THREE RIVERS RISING by Jame Richards
Kirkus Star

THREE RIVERS RISING

A Novel of the Johnstown Flood
Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Told in free verse with multiple voices, this novel dramatically recreates the impact of the historic tragedy of the Johnstown, Pa., flood on the lives of six people from 1888 to 1889. At the heart of the story is Celestia’s love for Peter, an illicit romance between a young girl of high society and the resort’s hired boy, which her father forbids. To save the family’s reputation, her father arranges to send her to Switzerland with her aunt, but when it’s discovered that Celestia’s pretty, engaged sister is pregnant, Estrella is sent instead. When the dam literally bursts, the tsunami is both physical and emotional, uprooting all their lives, including those of Maura, the wife of a railroad conductor, and Kate, a trained nurse scarred by the drowning of her beloved. As the three rivers converge, so do the lives of the characters in their efforts to survive. With an atmosphere like that of Jennifer Donnelly’s A Northern Light (2003) and skilled wordsmithing akin to Jen Bryant’s, the staccato pulsing of this love story builds the tension and puts human faces on a devastating disaster. (author’s note, timeline, further reading) (Historical fiction. YA)

Pub Date: April 13th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-85885-7
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2010




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