I happened to come this week across a new Niagara novel, Two Men, One River that takes readers back to 1918. Bob Manson, the author and researcher, Tady Sackowski have constructed a detailed landscape as it really was back then. There are steamships, locomotives, daredevils, magicians and colourful characters. There are also plenty of historic photographs and sketches in the novel. As I turned the pages of this book, I felt I had travelled to a simpler time.
The two characters in the novel are Jack Saunders, a troubled veteran of the Great War who struggles with finances and addictions. (Sounds familiar even today) as he tries to make a better life for his beloved wife; and Aaron O’Malley, a wealthy and self-serving tycoon who sees the enormous potential of the Niagara region: its steady flow of tourism money, the rise of twentieth-century technologies, and the vast power of the Niagara River.
To make their dreams possible, they enlist the support of the inventor of Alternating Current, the brilliant engineer Nikola Tesla, Sir Adam Beck (today we have two power plants named after him), and King Camp Gillette who has a detailed plan for a futuristic social utopia.
I won’t tell you anymore in case I give away too much of the story.
“Two Men, One River” is a good read. For more information go to; www.twomenoneriver.com.
Most days I visit our local Niagara Falls Public Library to check out especially their local history section. That’s when I discovered there are just over 24 books on Niagara Falls (I wrote five of these publications). Niagara Parks and City of Niagara Falls historian, Sherman Zavitz is also a prolific writer about Niagara Falls.