by Judith Redline Coopey
Fifty years after an earthen dam collapsed sending a thirty foot wall of raging destruction down on the city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Pamela McRae looks back on the tragedy. The flood wiped out Pam’s fondest hopes: her brother and her fiancé were killed. Her mother is locked in catatonic hysteria. Her father, torn apart by the flood’s affect on his family, just walks away, leaving Pam poverty stricken and alone, to care for a mother who may never recover. Then Davy Hughes, Pam’s dead fiancé, reappears and, instead of being the answer to her prayers, further complicates her life. Someone is seeking revenge on the owners of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, the Pittsburgh millionaires who owned the failed dam, and Pam thinks Davy might have something to do with it. Waterproof, set in Johnstown two years after the flood, examines how people react to tragedy. Do they recover from physical injury only to succumb to the psychological affects? Or do they run away? Do they rise to the challenge and become better people or give in to their rage and seek revenge? For the people of Johnstown, survivors of the flood, it became the measure of their character. Determined to get past the tragedy and get on with her life, Pam spurns self-pity. She will not be defined by the flood. In this decades-deep story of loss and struggle against loss, we find a heroine to respect and a path to recovery.