THE TERRIBLE WAVE by Marden Dahlstedt


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Riding the terrible wave of Johnstown's 1889 flood on an old mattress, Megan Maxwell survives the shock of seeing her hometown swept downstream in bits and pieces, and, after being rescued by a floating farm wagon, meets a diverse crew of fellow survivors -- the grocer's son Bryan, ""stage people"" Tom and Daisy, the old watchmaker Septimus Shaw, and a mute Polish boy. They discover together a mood of tough resilience which will help them to rebuild their lives and homes. The freakish illogic of the tragedy itself (the cook Hulda survives by dinging to a child's rocking horse) and human beings' reaction to it (formal introductions are exchanged while clinging to the wagon) have the unmistakable ring of truth, and Megan, whose innate good sense and courage emerge under pressure, is the ideal guide for this well-researched recreation of an actual disaster.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan