A Novel You Won't Soon Forget

Check out these exciting reivews.  I hope you'll love the book as many have already.  Still hitting 5 stars on



—Susan Bailey, author of An Accident of Birth

Whether you read this for style, setting or simply a great story, Whitewater Opera - Death Comes to the Allagash has it all and will draw you in from the get-go. O’Mara’s writing flows like the Maine river itself—quiet and reflective, then rapidly and unexpectedly gaining momentum as the drama explodes on the page dropping you down into the next rapid.


Be Prepared for a Wild Ride

From review by J. Peterson:

WHITEWATER OPERA was an incredible book, tough to put down, sorry when it ended. It was the kind of book that moved at a very fast clip moving me from laughter to tears to moments of sheer "Wow!"


The story itself was a fast paced adventure along the Allagash River in Maine. It started as a "dare" when seven school principals decided to embark on a fly fishing canoe trip in the northern reaches of Maine, in an area only marked by the symbols on a map: T6 R7. The happy-go-lucky atmosphere quickly turned into disaster when the sunny weather turned into thunderstorms and continuing rain, a factor which caused the levels of the water to rise to dangerous levels. A hand injury, a black bear or two, strong prejudicial feelings, and dangerous river rapids made the story move sharply from one misadventure (to say the least) to the next.


But the "story", as well detailed as it possibly could be, was only part of WHITEWATER OPERA. The characters, themselves, were people you might have known, real people with real issues. They came with their own "baggage" and in many cases came through the story as stronger and more reflective people. The leaders of the group, who were knowledgeable in the Maine woods, became incapacitated as the story moved forward and the followers had to "step up".


One of the most moving parts of the story came right at the end when Tiffany, a tall, blonde Barbie doll type socialite, remarked, "What the hell happened?" By the end of the story, she had totally transformed into a strong, take charge character who really was the "saviour". The story had turned into a reflective piece of writing sharing the motivations of the characters, good and bad!


Besides the narrative and the reflection, the writing itself was moving. The way the author described the scenery and the treacherous ride down the river allowed the reader to vicariously ride along.


"The black swirling water was like a greedy monster sucking them in. Its many white tongues of foam licked hungrily at the bow of the first canoe. The big deep pool below the dam swirled hard to the left. Water rushed along the the dark moss-lined riverbank, and the shore was littered with water-worn tree trunks that had been tossed about in the flood of the spring ice-out.....


In truth, I feel that this was one of the best books I have ever read. In many places I could connect to my own, somewhat limited, experience on the Penobscot River along the Golden Road. In other places I cried with the characters and about the characters, as well as rejoicing with their accomplishments and the joy they shared with each other. The two guides clearly had a strong, accepting relationship, which may have pulled them through at the end. Make no mistake this book is also about death as the subtitle clearly indicates: "Death comes to the Allagash." But in the death, in the life, in the revival of the characters comes the true story. Definitely a must read!