Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Panama By Shelby Hiatt

The novel I read is a Historical love story that takes place in the Republic of Panama during the construction of the Panama Canal 1910's- 1913's. The William Hailey's of Ohio traveled by train, and then an ocean liner to get to Panama. Mr. Hailey is an expert on railroad management . The Hailey's had one teen daughter, who was the principal player of the novel.
The Panama Canal was considered one of the seven wonders of the World once completed. It was an Isthmus with the Eastern side of the Canal having access to the Atlantic Ocean. On the Western side of the Canal was the peaceful Pacific Ocean as people commented. One positive reason for building the Panama Canal their were no earthquakes to disrupt the flow of the Canal.
Throughout the novel, one learns the different hardships of building the Canal.
The novel introduces the reader to Col. Goethals, who was the Engineer with many insights into construction of the Panama Canal. We learn about Dr. Gorgas, and his knowledge about malaria, and yellow fever. These diseases diseases killed many workers during construction time of the canal.
In comes the teen daughter of the Father who works for the Canal, and the wife who are trying to be adjusted into a new environment , and the daughter into a brand new high school. She at first becomes acquainted with Harry as a friend. He is in charge of the workers, and had been a policeman. Through Harry, she becomes acquainted with local workers, and how they live. The teen girl falls head over heals over a Spaniard who is a worker at the Canal called Federico. He was educated, and read Freud, and other classical books.One day the teen girl goes to Federico's cabin, and finds he is hospitalized at Gorgas Hospital. He has malaria, and has to stay put. The teen girl is a Senior in High School , and almost finished. She is accepted to Oberlin College, so she may never see Federico again.
I could go on about this novel, but it might be boring the reader. I lived, and was raised on the Isthmus for thirty years. This novel is worthwhile.


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