“My husband and I love history, we love Boston and of course the North End with its wonderful Italian restaurants.

“Last year we heard something about the molasses flood in the North End. Curious about it, we found the book, ‘Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919.’ It was hard to put it down.

“‘Dark Tide’ reads like disaster fiction, but it is history. Author and historian Stephen Puleo brings to life people whose lives were altered from the disaster that never should have happened.

“It was an era of pro-big business and few if any safety regulations. It was also a time when molasses, a valuable commodity, was used to produce alcohol and munitions for World War I. To hold lots of molasses, a poorly made tank was built in the densely populated neighborhood of Italian immigrants. Most didn’t speak English. The tank was colossal, holding 2.3 million gallons of molasses. Fifty feet tall, it left nearby buildings in its shadow.

“Isaac Gonzales, who was hired to work at the tank, warned the tank was dangerous. He heard the molasses rumble from too much pressure, saw molasses seeping through the seams. He had nightmares of the tank imploding. One day his nightmare came true, the molasses roared out of the tank, flooding and killing people and animals, and decimating the North End.

“What follows are the stories of what happened to the victims, the years of court hearings and who was finally found responsible, but not before a complicated web had to be untangled.

“It’s a great read.” — BONNIE WASHUK, Portland Press Herald reporter, and RICK ZACCARO

Mainers, please email to tell us about the book on your bedside table right now. In a paragraph or two, describe the book and be sure to tell us what drew you to it. We want to hear what you are reading and why. Send your selection to pgrodinsky@pressherald.com, and we may use it as a future Bedside Table.

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