The Day the Falls Stood Still

The Day the Falls Stood Still - Cathy Marie Buchanan Bess Heath is 15 years old and looking forward to her final year at an exclusive girl’s academy. However, on her last day at the academy she is informed that she will not be returning to complete her graduating year. Her father has lost his job at the Niagara Power Company. Thus begins Bess’ new life, complete with a sister rejected by her fiancée, a chance encounter with the “ne’er do well” Tom Cole, and having to help as a seamstress just to make ends meet.

Bess’s story is the basis for the book, but this book is so much more than that. This book tells of a Niagara Falls before Clifton Hill became a tourist attraction, when dare-devils still rode over the falls in barrels and lovers still picnicked by the whirlpools. Again, as captivating as the story is the backstory of World War 1, the politics behind the Hydro Electric companies harnessing the power of the falls and the role of women during the whole period were equally as interesting.

This book is an excellent debut for Ms. Buchanan. I heard her read an excerpt from her book at Word on the Street in 2010, purchased the book and gave it to my daughter as a Christmas gift. I never did borrow it back to read it myself so when I came upon the audio version I knew I had to listen to it. Kudos to narrator Karen White who brings Bess’ voice to life. Highly recommend this book.

Looking forward to more from this new Canadian author.