Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards (Published by Knopf, April 13, 2010)
It is the summer of 1888 when Celestia Whitcomb first meets Peter, who works at the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club in Pennsylvania. Celestia, her older sister Estrella, and their parents are spending their summer on vacation at the club along with many other wealthy members of society. Celestia and Peter become close friends, and their friendship turns to love. It is a romance that if discovered could lead to Celestia becoming an outcast from proper society. Events abruptly separate them, but they secretly keep their love alive and hope to reunited.
At the start of the following summer, Celestia and her father return to the club. Celestia's father wants her to marry a man she can never love, and she is desperate to escape. She decides to go to Johnstown, where Peter lives. At the same time, Kate, a young nursing school graduate, is traveling to her new job, while Maura, a young wife and mother whose husband is a railroad engineer, cares for her young children in their home nearby. None are aware of the disaster and tragedy they will soon witness when the poorly maintained dam at the club breaks, unleashing a flood upon Johnstown.
Three Rivers Rising is a very quick and enjoyable read that I could not put down. It is written in verse, and I haven’t read many novels written in this format, but it worked well for the story. I liked how the multiple narrators were included to show different perspectives on the events, although my favorite story was that of Celestia and Peter. Their love for each other was very sweet. And as a fan of historical fiction I loved the interesting historical setting of the story. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adult novels with a mix of romance, history, and adventure.