Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood by Jame Richards

I thought it might be a good idea to read and review this book, since this year’s summer reading theme is “Make Waves @ Your Library,” but the cover art seemed a little boring.  Boy, am I glad I ignored my impulse to pass on this book and just give it a shot…  I swear, it’s like this story is the lovechild of “Dirty Dancing” and The Luxe!  Set in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, in 1888 and 1889, this story pairs factual historical information about the Johnstown Flood with a story of forbidden love.   Between the “novel in verse” format and the alternating perspectives, it was easy to get swept along by the story and to finish in one sitting!

Lake Conemaugh, a man-made body of water created by the construction of the South Fork Dam, was the site of a resort community for the privileged social elite.  16-year-old Celestia went there every year, and she was sick of the usual crowd.  She preferred to go off on her own to read a book or take a swim.  One day, Celestia met a boy named Peter when he went fishing near her usual reading spot.  After a few encounters, the two began to spend time together.  The problem was, though, that Peter worked at the resort.  Fraternizing with the help was definitely considered unseemly for a girl of her social standing, but Celestia ended up falling in love with Peter anyhow.  When the summer ended, the two parted ways, and both were left wondering if and how they would ever be together again…  Will love prevail?  And how do the floods affect Celestia and Peter?  This book is a MUST READ for the summer of 2010!

Happy Reading!

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