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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Advent - Whirlpool by Eileen Enwright Hodgetts

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.

Whirlpool by Eileen Enwright Hodgetts

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.

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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.

Eileen's Christmas Wishes...
"To have all of my family in one place at the same time."

Fondest Christmas Memory...
"My fondest Christmas memory is 1985 when the power went out on Christmas Eve, the coldest night of the century in our part of Pennsylvania. We had a woodstove on our farm and ours was the only warm house so the neighbors all came and spent the evening playing games around the fire by candlelight."

Top 3 Games to play at Christmas
Charades (English style, very different from American)
Chickenfoot (very simply game with dominos) 
Rummikub (for the older people)

Click another date for a Christmas Surprise

Sharon x

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  1. Niagra Falls is absolutely dangerous - especially the US side. It's nice to romance the area but nowadays... well, there's a nicer area just down the road (says the Canadian who liked the Niagra region ;-) )

  2. sounds like a great read! tempted to get this for Christmas for myself :)

  3. Like the sound of the book though I would not be tempted to get in that barrel!!

  4. This reality based fiction novel had me sitting on the edge--and no not Niagra Falls! The romance is totally understated-more like what would happen in real life. The characters are vibrant and alive on the pages. Get this book-you will not be sorry!

  5. I would definitely not be tempted to get in that barrel...

  6. Now this is one that will go on my wishlist! I always love books set in the 1920s.

  7. I love that this includes a place I have yet to visit! I'm already interested in the novel! Definitely something that would interest me to read cover to cover.

  8. I remember hearing about the real attempts. This sounds like an interesting one!

  9. Sounds like an interesting book indeed. I will have to read this one and I love that she has put some exploits in the book. Thanks for sharing.


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