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"Come Into The Water: A Survivor's Story, by Merlyn Janet Magner, is an absolutely extraordinary book. Not only is it a story of the devastating flood of 1972 in South Dakota, but of the profound and devastating effects the flood had on Merlyn’s whole life. This book is about disaster, grief, introspection, and gradual rejuvenation. Somehow the author managed to write of the tragedy and of her suffering in such an astoundingly beautiful fashion that I found myself wanting to reread it as soon as I finished the last page."—LibraryThing.com
“Merlyn Magner’s book is a fascinating personal quest for the inner life of a woman traumatized and awakened by the destructive Rapid City flood of 1972. The author’s story is one few people could write. It is a self-searching jewel.”—Senator George McGovern “This story is a powerful account of the Rapid City flood and how Merlyn Magner’s life has been profoundly affected by the catastrophe. She gives colorful descriptions of making new friends and traveling the world—yet the intense impact of the flood never recedes.”—Jay Trobec, Chief Meteorologist, KELO-TV
“At approximately 10:25 P.M., I drowned. Heavy rain and flooding burst through and filled the canyon walls surrounding my family home. My mother, my father, and my brother would drown that night, too. I was swept away and landed on a rooftop, the only survivor. This is my story.”—Merlyn Janet Magner
Rapid City, South Dakota, June 9, 1972 . . . 238 people died, 5 are still missing.
In the midst of one of the worst floods in the history of the United States, one young woman clung to the roof of a house, desperately holding on to the vestiges of her life. At the same time, the massive flood surging down from the Black Hills and through the city swept away everything and everybody she loved.
Somehow, Merlyn Magner survived that horrific night, but she lost her brother, mother, and father to the rampaging water. Questions coursed through her mind then and for much of the rest of her life: Why did this happen? Why did my family die? Why did I survive? What does it all mean? Rescued from that rooftop, Merlyn set out to find the answers to these questions. She searched for comprehension, for a sense of place, for meaning . . .
Her search took her from the Black Hills on a journey around the United States and then the world, traversing the globe to escape the memories and the pain, and always looking for answers. Her story is one of great tragedy and yet, equally, of great joy and reward. It is a poignant, spiritual journey, a fractured fairy tale, which has at its core the search for her very own grail, one that will help her make sense of the why, how, and what of that horrendous night.
"Merlyn Magner sweeps you into her world, a world in which she has searched for meaning for the past thirty years, and a world in which her incredible prose holds you, bidden to turn every last page, hoping to help her understand her twisted, fantastic life. Come into the Water is powerful, poignant, and precious from the first sentence to the last."—Bernie Hunhoff, South Dakota Magazine
"A beautiful and heartbreaking story"—LibraryThing
"Well-written and full of beautiful thought"—LibraryThing
Listen to an interview with author Merlyn Magner.