Book Details

Based on Actual Events

Emma’s Waterloo is based on actual events

Love, jealousy, and murder shake the small rural community of Waterloo, Michigan, on May 31, 1896.

Emma, a young and beautiful woman of 19, agonizes as her purported affianced relationship with Lewis rapidly disintegrates during the preceding winter months. Lewis’s growing reliance on alcohol transforms his demeanor from kind to belligerent. His increasingly boorish behavior pushes Emma away and into the arms of another man. Lewis’s malicious bitterness prevents him from accepting reality. A series of escalating events results in a violent murder.

As facts leading to the killing surface they become entangled with deep family bonds and a grieving mother’s religious conviction. Soon afterward details of the murder are manipulated in an attempt to obscure the truth.

Emma’s Waterloo 
sets the stage by drawing the reader into the arduous journeys each of the story’s three families made as they forged their way into sparsely populated Michigan and developed neighboring farms. Powerful bonds formed as these families worked together in establishing their church and local community. On May 31, 1896, everything changed.

The story opens a window into everyday 1890s rural life and the emotional impact of a horrific murder. The tragedy sets the stage for an intriguing example of late nineteenth century politics and jurisprudence when, as is now, one side wins and justice is fiercely debated by both.

Emma’s Waterloo is a page-turner with a thought provoking ending. The book then continues with a moving epilog, followed by brief historical accounts of the story’s main characters. Photographs from the era are a bonus.


About the Author

Tom Tisch

Tom Tisch was raised in the blue-collar town of Muskegon Heights, Michigan, once a thriving city with two sand foundries operating twenty-four hours a day along with manufacturing firms and several small retail businesses. During the 1970s the foundries and factories began closing and retailers shuttered their doors. The “Heights,” a city of almost 20,000, collapsed, leaving behind a remnant of a once-thriving community. Crime in the Heights increased as the city sickened, culminating, for Tom’s family, on May 18, 1994, when both his elderly parents were brutally murdered during a home invasion.

Tom was schooled at since demolished Sacred Heart Grade School in Muskegon Heights and Muskegon Catholic Central High School. He later attended Michigan State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. During his career Tom has served in several technical and marketing positions in the motion picture equipment, video post-production, and digital imaging industries.

Tom’s writing explores the emotional devastation that impacted persons drawn into horrible events from days long gone. Recorded history may detail a tragedy, but it takes an author like Tom Tisch to compassionately describe the intimate feelings of those involved.

Emma’s Waterloo reminds us that people who lived decades ago reacted to crisis no differently than we do now, and that our human experience has not changed since the time this impactful story took place.

Tom Tisch resides in metropolitan Chicago, Illinois.