Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book Review: The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan

The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Publisher: Voice
Publication date: August 2009
ISBN: 1401340970

Source: review copy sent by author

The Day the Falls Stood Still 

Bess returns from school to find her family in ruin - her father lost his job and took to drinking, her mother sews dresses to pay the bills, and her sister's engagement has been called off, leaving her devastated.  Amidst all this tragedy, she meets Tom Cole.  Tom is not her parents' idea of a suitable match, but Bess is drawn to Tom and his uncanny ability to predict the river and Niagara Falls.  Will she be able to choose love over duty?  And will her family survive that choice?

Things I Liked:
I loved the setting of this book, World War I in Niagara Falls, Canada.  The story of the falls is woven completely and effortlessly into the lives of all the characters.  I loved hearing the stories of daredevils and industrial wrangling surrounding that magnificent location.  I've only been to Niagara once, on the US side, but it left a big impression on me.  Not only does it have this setting, but a sweet and strong love story as well.  I liked how realistic the relationship between Bess and Tom was - everything was not smooth and certain.  Things didn't just work out for them.  A very well done debut.

Things I Didn't Like:
Often, there was a bit too much river detail.  It sometimes left me distracted and a little bored.  Also, it isn't really a happy book and I found Bess' loss of faith rather disconcerting.  I expected it to at least resolve in the end, but was not pleased with the resolution offered.  It cast kind of a negative look at religion and God, which made me unhappy.

Reminded me a bit of A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

s-factor: !@
some, not overwhelming amounts

mrg-factor: XXX
quite a few descriptive passages

v-factor: ->->
some descriptions of death, not gory just realistic

Overall rating: ****

In celebration of Veteran's Day, let me know your favorite book about war.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. My favorite (though it doesn't involve soldiers much) was a book in which a Polish girl watches Warsaw crumble around her in the outbreak of World War II, endure the cruel regime of the Germans, and make her way to America, where she has a happy ending.

  2. Lauren, that sounds like a good one! I like war books that can have hopeful, if not happy endings.

  3. I'm looking forward to reading this one! WWI novels? Earlier this year I read Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy and was so overwhelmingly impressed. I'm also terribly fond of Timothy Findley's The Wars.

  4. Buried in Print, I am constantly reminded of just how LITTLE I know about books. Never heard of either of those books! I need to get out more. :)

  5. Sarah's Key. Definitely.

    I knew I'd be in the minority on this one. :)

  6. I bought this one almost a year ago and of course have failed to read it yet. Hopefully soon!

  7. Britt, I've heard that one pop up lots of times - I better get it on my list!

    Stephanie, hopefully you'll enjoy it!


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