Book Review: Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards

three rivers rising coverSixteen-year-old Celestia is the youngest daughter of two very prominent people of Pennsylvania society in 1889. She and her sister spend their summer vacation doing what all proper ladies of their position do, lazing in the shade and taking up needlecrafts at their resort, the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club. Celestia is not content to just laze about, so she often spends her time in the shade of a old tree next to the lake. That is where she was the day she met and fell in love with Peter. While he was just a hired hand, working at the club before going to work in the coal mines like his father, he was well-read and well-versed in all manner of subjects.
The couple grow fond of one another very quickly and pledge their fidelity to each other. Their bond is quickly tested when it is discovered that Celestia’s sister is with child, and that child has not been sired by her fiancé. Immediately the sister is cast out of the family and Celestia is whisked away to Europe for finishing school before her societal debut. The couple keeps in touch and hopes to rekindle their triste the following summer.

While Celestia does make it back to the Club, she finds that Peter is no longer employed there. She’s had all she can take from her family and runs to the neighboring town to find him, leaving all she has ever known behind. Unfortunately for her, her timing could not have been more tragic. The Club lake was artificially made by a dam. Every year the townsfolk joke that it will give way during the stormy season. Sadly this does come to pass and the novel tells the tale of love, loss, survival, and destiny through verse.

Three Rivers Rising was in a phrase: an enchanting and harrowing tale. This book was historically factual in that the time line and the most of the events actually took place on that fateful day in 1889. It’s hard to believe the devastation that something as simple as water can cause, but in mass quantities anything can be deadly.

The characters were very representative of their time and station and I really found myself drawn to the lower class characters. The book is told by revolving narrators with the focus on Celestia and Peter, yet I found myself drawn to Maura and Kate much more. They were simple, ordinary people going on about their lives as best they could, when this tragedy struck and changed their lives irrevocably. A fascinating change to behold!

The writing was incredible! The verse and poetry of the words were both heart-wrenching and affable. Richards really captured the desire, desperation, and magnitude of this event in her narrative. I would say if you enjoyed The Sky is Everywhere, then you will enjoy this novel. Simply amazing. Click here to order Three Rivers Rising and click here to order The Sky is Everywhere.


One Response to Book Review: Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards

  1. Diana DiFerdinando says:

    I know the author personally!!! I teach Creative Writing at Sanderson. Any way that we can get her as a speaker? Or monies for a class set? The novel is terrific!

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