This book offers up history, mystery, and a deeper look at the human spirit both as an individual and as a collective.

In an effort to harness the precious waters pouring out of the Catskills, a tiny township of Galesburg is lost in the strides for advancement . . . a sacrifice in the name of progress because a larger municipality of strangers downstream, in New York City, deemed it so.

In these strange times when we are confronted with what really matters . . . the things essential to existence . . . and the ever-evolving pursuit of happiness, this story comes along and reminds me of the struggles of ancestors to carve out their place in the world.

Years and years ago the inhabitants of Galesburg fought the elements and the Iroquois to earn the right to build their homesteads in the mountainous area north of New York City only to lose it to fellow countrymen in a decree of eminent domain.

It’s rare that we think of where the water that flows from the tap comes from or how hard-won it was. I was riveted to passages about effort and engineering, rich details, the risks of man and machine carving their way through earth and stone to deliver this essential of life to the masses. Waterways, tunnels, reservoirs, and dams all steered in concert for a singular purpose.

I really enjoyed the haunting tones of this book and the atmosphere of the Chilewaukee Reservoir (aka the Chill). It reminds me that even in the stillness you can feel time marching on, dragging us forward, and that sentiment reverberates in the following passage from The Chill . . .

“Everything is in motion. The molecules are either in balance or at war, do you see? This world promises us only one thing: motion. Action. The world is never passive. Never.”

This book’s final takeaway for me was—on the surface things can appear to be whole and just fine, but over time we all need to inspect for cavitation a little bit deeper.

Professional Reader

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