Monday, August 20, 2012

Three Rivers Rising

Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood
Summary from Good Reads:
Sixteen-Year-Old Celestia 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.

My review:
I really liked Three Rivers Rising. It's probably going to be one of my favorite books that I've read in 2012. I love that it's historical, that it's sad but not too terribly sad and it's a love story, and it's written in verse. I love the names of the two daughters, Estrella and Celestia. And I love how brave and strong each one of them is. I love how Celestia understands the choices she makes and that they have consequences. I love that they all get happy endings! (Estrella's esp cracks me up!) I loved hearing from Kate's perspective and how she found her calling.  I loved Maura's faithfulness and devotion to her husband and children and how he saved his family and his town. I loved how Celestia's father finds out how important his daughters are to him, and it was nice getting to see his POV and how he changed because of the flood. I loved how the cover matches the book perfectly and how there is a map inside to show where all the towns are.

This  is a beautiful book. It is  full of love, anger, betrayal, sorrow, wealth and money, poverty, family, children, disaster, death, and the importance of life. I loved it, and I recommend it to everyone. But do not take it lightly. It is beautiful, yet sad.

Here's one of my favorite quotes from Three Rivers Rising, Peter's POV:

To my mind,
a clear night sky
with a sugaring of stars.
enormous and
silent as a snowfall,
that's the only church we need.

I used to think
I could see straight up to Heaven
if I looked hard enough
Mama'd be holding out her arms,
smelling like sunshine
and honey.
and me, so small
and alone in the dark...
but she'd find me,
love like a thread between us.

That's how it is
to be with Celestia--
standing in a church of stars,
feeling so small,
and letting love find me anyways.