BLOG TOUR: Whirlpool by Eileen Enwright Hodgetts

by Eileen Enwright Hodgetts
Createspace, 2012
ISBN: 9781475103595
Historical Fiction
Copy provided by author for blog tour.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.


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. 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 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.


Eileen Enwright Hodgetts is the author of Whirlpool.  She is a much traveled writer. Brought up in England and Wales, she has also lived and worked in South Africa and Uganda and now makes her home in Pittsburgh, PA. Her 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 and is also involved in a Ugandan Coffee Farm. Much of her writing reveals not only her great fondness for the British Isles, but also her British sense of humor which still sees the funny side of most situations.

In addition to writing novels, Eileen Enwright Hodgetts is also an accomplished playwright with a number of national awards to her credit. Her novel, Whirlpool, began life as a stage musical playing at the Niagara Falls Convention Center in Niagara Falls, New York. In 1993 the Mayor of Niagara Falls, NY, proclaimed the summer of 1993 as Whirlpool Theater Days in honor of the production.

The author’s award-winning courtroom drama Titanic to All Ships will open at the Comtra Theater on April 13 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The drama, created under a Fellowship Grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a dramatic re-telling of the Senate Hearings into the tragedy. The play has won several national awards.

To get your copy of Whirlpool by Eileen Hodgetts at Amazon.

Pick up your ebook copy at Barnes & Noble.

Find out all about Whirlpool at Goodreads.


I'm trying to think of the right way to say what I think about this book.  The stories about Niagara Falls are fascinating and horrifying all in one.  To think of people doing something so foolish appalls me and yet people still do such things today. As for the characters, I found Evangeline both likeable and utterly foolish, but determined. Joshua was a stubborn man, with a brave and caring heart hiding behind a gruff wall.  The way they fought and yet came to care about each other was sweet.  Cornelia I found utterly irritating and selfish. Iris, hmmm, I'm not quite sure what to think about her.  Plotwise, I liked the parts about the falls and the preparations for the 'event.'  The problem I had was with some of the subplots and really the problem came because of my own moral standards.  The characters did things that I don't believe to be right and so I wasn't comfortable reading those things, but the story certainly was compelling. Note: the book does contain a mild amount of swearing/profanity, some sex (not graphic), and a murder.

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