RUSHING WATERS by Danielle Steel

Rushing Waters is a novel about the changes Hurricane Ophelia makes in the character’s lives.  From the title, I thought the book would be about people surviving the flood and how it destroyed their property and lives.  The sad story where people overcome tragedy. This story was different.  The focus wasn’t on the devastation of the storm, but on circumstances that lead to relationships which would not have happened if there was not a hurricane.


Hurricane Ophelia is approaching New York when Ellen Wharton is preparing to visit her mother, Grace.   While in New York, she will also meet with two clients and visit a doctor that may be able to help her have kids.  She is living in London with her husband of ten years and desperately wants to have children.  For the past four years, they have tried IVF with no full term pregnancies.  She did, however, had six miscarriages.  At 38 years old and running out of time to have children, she made one last attempt to get pregnant by making an appoint with a specialist in New York.

Visiting her mother is a yearly trip for Ellen.  She grew up in New York and loves to visit her mom.  Neither Ellen nor her mother is afraid of the approaching hurricane since they have been through two other hurricanes.

The flood does come and destroys her mother’s house.  During the storm, they stayed at a shelter, then moved into a friend’s house until her mother can find an apartment to rent until her apartment is cleaned up and reconstructed.  It’s no big deal since she has been through it before and she has lots of money that it is easy for her to buy new things.


There are four other small story lines in Rushing Waters.  They are as follows.

  1. Grace  –  She is 74 years old and still works as a successful architect in New York.  She lives alone, except when her daughter visits her.  Neither of them is worried about Hurricane Ophelia.  Grace has lived through two other hurricanes and knew the drill.  She won’t evacuate her upscale apartment until she has to and is told to leave.
  2. Charles – On the plane from London to New York, Ellen met Charles, who was going on a business trip.  During his stay in New York, he also wanted to take the time to see his two daughters who live with their mother in New York.  It wasn’t his choice to get a divorce.  His wife is younger and was not ready to settle down with a family.  So she ran off with a photographer to pursue her modeling career, and she took the kids with her.  He still loves his wife though and wants to be with her.
  3. Juliette – She is an Emergency Room doctor who has also lived through Hurricane Sandy.  She was calm when Hurricane Ophelia came since she knew what to do.  As soon as the storm came and the electricity went out at the hospital, she took charge and told people what to do to save the patients in the hospital.  They needed to be removed and transported to another hospital.  The emergency generator at the hospital didn’t work.  The same thing happened while she was working at another hospital during Hurricane Sandy five years prior.
  4. Peter – He is a college student living in an apartment with his friend who also goes to NYU.  They lived on the sixth floor and wasn’t worried about the flood hitting them.  They thought they would be safe and they prepared by buying enough food to last them through the storm.

The hurricane indirectly affected these character’s lives.  Ellen and Charles meet and keep their friendship throughout the story.  However, the other storylines do not intersect with Ellen’s life.  The only common element with all the people in the book is they all dealt with Hurricane Ophelia in New York.  


Rushing Waters is more about relationships before and after Hurricane Ophelia.  The author doesn’t write too much about the destruction or ruined lives.  None of the characters in New York seemed to care about the damage the storm caused, except for Ellen because she has expensive furniture and other items which she would like to save.

I enjoyed the book, but it wasn’t what I expected.  I thought the story would be more about how people survived Hurricane Ophelia and the devastation it caused in their lives.  Characters didn’t care about the storm.  However, because of the storm relationships changed and that is the focus of the book.  It’s not a romance novel either, even though there is some in the book.

I was getting to the end of the book, about the last 80 pages, and didn’t feel there was much new to read.  Relationships were forming or ending, and I felt there was nothing more to add to the story.  The author wraps the stories up and reveals the new direction the characters will take in their life.

I did like that there were different stories to follow which the characters did not intersect.  Getting different perspectives


Rushing Waters
Article Name
Rushing Waters
Hurricane Ophelia is approaching New York when Ellen Wharton is preparing to visit her mother, Grace. Rushing Waters is a novel about the changes this hurricane made in the character's lives.

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