Tara Chevrestt's Reviews > The Day the Falls Stood Still

The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
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's review
Aug 28, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction, canada
Read in July, 2009

This is a magical, well told tale about a young woman named Bess, a riverman named Tom, and the history of the Niagara Falls. Bess meets Tom at the beginning of World War One when her family has fallen on hard times. They both reside on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls in a town being overcome by hydroelectric power plants. Bess comes from a family that made its riches from the power plants, whereas Tom strongly believes in the beauty of the river and leaving nature untouched. This difference in opinion, however, does not deter their feelings for each other.

Partly due to her family's financial struggles, her father's loss of a job, but mostly her sister's suicide, Bess transforms from a gullible, naive girl to a strong, independent woman almost overnight and against her family's wishes, she marries Tom. After he serves his time in the war, they start a family and Tom faces difficult choices and must make decisions that go against his personal beliefs.

Tom loves the river, but the only jobs available are involved in the destruction of it and his beloved falls. What will come first in his priorities, his family or his ethics? In between the romance and Tom's amazing river rescues, readers get a detailed story about the Falls and the power plants that set out to destroy it. There are wonderful pictures, newspaper articles, and factual tidbits in between chapters. I found this particular touch very charming.

A wonderful story and very realistic. It is not all happiness and joy, but also frustrations and fears. A very surprising ending. Highly recommended.
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