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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Book Review - Whirlpool - A Novel of Niagra Falls by Eileen Enwright Hodgetts

Book Review
Whirlpool - A Novel of Niagra Falls 
by Eileen Enwright Hodgetts

Book Description
Inspired by true stories of the Falls, Whirlpool is a romance, an adventure, and the closest that most of us will ever come to taking the fateful plunge over the Falls.

The year is 1923 and the jazz age is in full swing. Evangeline Murray, a young widow from Ohio, is recruited by the Women’s Freedom Movement to represent the spirit of modern womanhood by going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Evangeline eagerly embraces her opportunity to achieve fame and fortune, until she sees the power of the River and begins to understand the risk she is taking. Joshua McClaren, an enigmatic battle-scarred veteran of World War I, and the best boatman on the river, reluctantly agrees to launch the headstrong Evangeline. Joshua has seen hundreds of bodies surface in the Whirlpool below the Falls, and has faced death on the battlefields of Flanders and has no respect for the charming, impetuous Mrs. Murray, and her desire for fame. Before the barrel can be launched, each of them will have to face their own demons, painful secrets will be revealed and the Niagara Rivers will claim two more lives. 

Whirlpool is a fiction that is based on reality. Seven people have tried to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Four have succeeded and three have died. The first person to make the attempt was Annie Taylor, a middle aged school teacher from Michigan who made a successful journey in 1901. Barrel riding at Niagara Falls is now forbidden by law, but at the beginning of the 20th century Niagara was a haven for daredevils of all types, and many of their exploits are included in the novel.

Available at the following sites....

Our Book Review
A novel based round the birth of feminism in the USA and the women's freedom movement influence over the women they meet on their road trying to achieve notoriety by recruiting a widow who has debts to go over Niagara falls in a barrel. 

The language and text with short paragraphs make this a very easy read. The characters stories are individually told throughout the novel bringing them cleverly together to an exciting climax. 

The story is full of sexual tension, hidden agendas and treachery. Each individual has their own motive for what they are doing and one of them will go to any length to protect their interests. 

The author choice of a story is excellent, man and women against nature and can they achieve glory or will they fail like many before them. The research and historic details around the making of the barrel especially and the human emotion that is portrayed is first class. I enjoyed this book because it was very easy to follow with an exciting twist and protrays the real trait of humans that they will follow a cause for their own benefit.
Our Rating

About the Author
Eileen Enwright Hodgetts is a much traveled writer. Brought up in England and Wales, she has also lived and worked in South Africa and Uganda. Eileen and her husband, Graham, now make their home in the USA. Eileen’s life experiences allow her to use exotic backgrounds for her novels and to understand how an adventure can begin with just one small incident. For ten years she directed a humanitarian mission in East Africa as an employee of Christ Church at Grove Farm in Sewickley, PA. and her whole family continues to be involved in Uganda through the Ugandan Gold Coffee project bringing coffee to the United States and returning the profits to Uganda to be used for drilling water wells.

Sharon x

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  1. Weirdly I thought I had commented on this already. Anyway - Niagara Falls (speaking as a Canadian) is an absolutely great place and reading about it in the past as it might have been is superfun

  2. Great idea, one of my new year resolutions is to find time to start reading a book.



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