Monday, January 8, 2024

WHEN THE WATERS CAME by Candace Sue Patterson, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #NewRelease

When a flood of horrific proportions devastates the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Red Cross and other volunteers descend into the valley to tend to the survivors and clean up the debris.

Ms. Patterson recounts the true, harrowing experiences in a way that tugs at your heart. The first few chapters describe the onslaught of water and show the bravery of the few that made it out alive. In subsequent chapters, she chronicles the extensive job it was to clean up and start to repair the damage and to house the survivors. Based on a real event, the author used extensive research to make the story come alive, including quotes from contemporary sources. She interestingly includes notable dignitaries and Clara Barton, the head of the newly formed Red Cross.

The fictional pastor, Monty and Red Cross nurse, Annamae, were very realistic, as were their struggles. This book had many lessons to teach about perseverance, compassion and forgiveness, the foremost big forgiveness. How can we not forgive when Jesus has forgiven all sinners, even the ones who do not accept His great sacrifice? Forgiveness benefits the one who forgives even if the one who is forgiven doesn’t acknowledge it. 

This is my first read of 2024 and it will be on my favorites list for the year.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 5 stars and a strong faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
An act of greed or an act of God?
Introducing a new series of 6 exciting novels featuring historic American disasters that transformed landscapes and multiple lives. Whether by nature or by man, these disasters changed history and were a day to be remembered.

Pastor Montgomery Childs has tended his flock in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, for two years. While his pews are full every Sunday, he most desires to see a reckoning between God and the kings of industry who recreate on Lake Conemaugh. The pleasure grounds, flowing alcohol, and business dealings of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club taunts Monty as he works to heal the wounds inflicted from his own privileged childhood among Pittsburgh society. Like Noah, Monty prays against the evil surrounding him, but he never expects God to send a flood.

It takes five days for the Red Cross to respond to the Johnstown flood disaster, but when it does, Annamae Worthington is ready to help. Apprenticing under Clara Barton has prepared her for the job, but nothing can prepare her for the death and destruction that awaits. As if the survivors haven’t suffered enough, typhoid fever ravages the town, resurfacing suppressed emotions regarding her father’s death.

Narrowly surviving the flood and the horrifying things he’s witnessed, Monty’s faith is floundering. Then a Red Cross nurse puts him to work helping with the typhoid fever victims arriving at the hospital tents every hour. Monty and Annamae work together distributing disinfectants and supplies, housing orphans, and serving those left behind. Slowly, his faith resurfaces. A kinship forms between them neither can ignore. But when an investigation into the collapsed dam points to the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, secrets emerge that may tear them apart. 

Barbour Publishing, January, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:
Buy WHEN THE WATERS CAME at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

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