In this compulsively listenable historical novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Two Sisters comes the story of two young women - one in America's Gilded Age, one in scrappy modern-day California - whose lives are linked by a single tragic afternoon in history.
Elizabeth Haberlin, of the Pittsburgh Haberlins, spends every summer with her family on a beautiful lake in an exclusive club. Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains above the working-class community of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the private retreat is patronized by society's elite. Elizabeth summers with Carnegies, Mellons, and Fricks, following the rigid etiquette of her class. But Elizabeth is blessed (cursed) with a mind of her own. Case in point: her friendship with Eugene Eggar, a Johnstown steel mill worker. And when Elizabeth discovers that the club's poorly maintained dam is about to burst and send 20 million tons of water careening down the mountain, she risks all to warn Eugene and the townspeople in the lake's deadly shadow.
On her 18th birthday, genetic information from Lee Parker's closed adoption is unlocked. She also sees an old photograph of a genetic relative - a 19th-century woman with hair and eyes likes hers - standing in a pile of rubble from an ecological disaster next to none other than Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. Determined to identify the woman in the photo and unearth the mystery of that captured moment, Lee digs into history. Her journey takes her from California to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, from her present financial woes to her past of privilege, from the daily grind to an epic disaster. Once Lee's heroic DNA is revealed, will she decide to forge a new fate?
©2016 Mary Hogan (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
Wow!!! This one came out of left field!! I wasn't sure what to expect, but this was a terrific novel about a young woman whose ancestor was a (fictional) character in the very real history of the Johnstown flood. I absolutely loved it. The descriptions of the fashion and dresses, the character development, the impeccably (and emotionally) told account of the horrific flood, the famkly secret surrounding an adoption, the outrage over a collecti group of wealthy Pittsburgh tycoons -- all of it was so completely gripping.I could not stop listening and finished it in two days. This gal can write! I'm going to look up her other books now, but as a reader who didn't know much about the Johnstown flood, I found myself enamored with it. I was doing internet searches for Clara Barton and the Red Cross and looking up articles about the history of the flood. I couldn't get enough! I would love to see a whole series similar to this. Maybe the San Francisco earthquake? The Chicao Fire? The Lost Colony of Ronoake? I don't know, but I need more. Tavia Gilbert and Cassandra Campbell are two of my all time favorite narrators, and were a perfect choice for this already awesome book. I think this rises to my top spot for 2016. Absolutely recommend do any fan of historical fiction!!
Reader and Listener of books
I am about half way through the book, but I have to return it. The narrator's voice is grating. The story isn't going anywhere. And, I am utterly bored. I look forward to listening to a new book.
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