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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, lively, enchanting memoir
A beautifully written memoir - my mother recommended it to me, that's always a plus. The author really made me feel connected to her, and women/girls growing up in general. Although my childhood was completely different (on the surface), I could completely identify with the feelings and experiences Gildiner describes. Too Close to the Falls is one of those archetypal...
Published on May 22 2001 by book-clubber

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been splendid
Here is a memoir that deserved far more care in editing than it received. As a result, the misspellings and anachronisms seriously detract from the pleasure of reading about one of the most eccentric families ever. As the overactive only child of two truly fascinating people, Catherine Gildiner started working in her father's pharmacy at the age of four. Her adventures...
Published on Dec 3 2000 by Charlotte Vale-Allen


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been splendid, Dec 3 2000
This review is from: Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir (Paperback)
Here is a memoir that deserved far more care in editing than it received. As a result, the misspellings and anachronisms seriously detract from the pleasure of reading about one of the most eccentric families ever. As the overactive only child of two truly fascinating people, Catherine Gildiner started working in her father's pharmacy at the age of four. Her adventures with customers and with her peers, but most especially with her parents are told with great good humor and kindness. Unfortunately, the problems mentioned above get in the way so badly that it made for tedious, sometimes maddening reading of what would, with judicious editing, have been a wonderful autobiographical piece. Just to cite two examples: the Jackie Gleason show aired on Saturday nights, not on Fridays. And the spelling of famous names often varies within a single paragraph.
Unfortunate, too, are the last few chapters. They come as a letdown to an otherwise thoroughly engaging memoir. Ms. Gildiner deserved far better treatment. One can only hope that her next publisher/next editor will do the job right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, lively, enchanting memoir, May 22 2001
This review is from: Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir (Paperback)
A beautifully written memoir - my mother recommended it to me, that's always a plus. The author really made me feel connected to her, and women/girls growing up in general. Although my childhood was completely different (on the surface), I could completely identify with the feelings and experiences Gildiner describes. Too Close to the Falls is one of those archetypal stories that describes a life that we've all lived to some extent. Message to the author: PLEASE WRITE A SEQUEL!
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5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE VERY BEST, March 22 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir (Paperback)
One of the very best memoirs I have ever read and I specialize in girlhood memoirs. Born in the same year as the author, I very much enjoyed her recollections of how it was to grow up female in the early fifties. However the writer's childhood was undoubtedly more eccentric and adventurous than mine and probably most of our contemporaries. Her recounting of the wonderful and unique characters she encountered and how they shaped her perceptions of life is both hilarious and deeply affecting. I am truly grateful that she has brought them into my life to entertain and educate me as well. This book ends as she begins her teen years. Should she write a sequel, and I fervently hope she will, I will be first in line to buy it. This book is quite simply a remarkable reading experience!
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4.0 out of 5 stars From a fellow Lewistonian..., Jan. 7 2002
By 
Robert Henning (Rutherfordton, North Carolina United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir (Paperback)
I grew up in Lewiston 20 years after Ms. Gildiner (in the same neighborhood, I believe) and really enjoyed her book. She did a great job at capturing the essence of the place... small town charm filled with careless (dangerous) adventures in the gorge and river plus an assortment of oddball characters. I make it a point to visit at least once a year. The only problem I had was that she seemed to stretch her facts a bit at times. Catherine, did you really ride your sled from the power project cliffs to the Riverside Inn? I need some clarification on that one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life affirming for those who are a little different..., Aug. 7 2001
By 
"clodog" (Worcester, MA USA) - See all my reviews
This magical book came into my hands from two separate sources (in the same week--go figure) and has been shared with others since. One friend claims it completely changed her life and promptly went out, bought another 3 copies and passed them along to her friends. If you've ever felt that somehow you were an odd kid, this charming and insightful book is a great way to see challenges strengthen and enhance a woman's character, probably much like it did yours. I want a sequel.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia, July 4 2001
By 
Sally Coup (Selinsgrove, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir (Paperback)
I grew up in Lewiston, which during my childhood was a small, sleepy village where my father was mayor for four terms (He ran on both tickets!) Tho I left a few years before this book, I recognized names and places the author mentioned.
My Catholic school education differed from hers, as I went to a different school but am enthralled with her changes, both as a Catholic and a person.
I had heard only sketchy stories about the take over of the Tuscarora land and was incensed when I read her account.
I'm almost finished with it, and I hate to get to the last page. At some point, I'm sure I'll reread it and digest more.
Good book! Excellent storytelling!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid memories, exciting times, June 1 2000
This review is from: Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir (Paperback)
Shades of Russell Baker's Growing Up--thank goodness for writers like Dr. Gildiner who with such enormous talent bring us back to relive the joys, tears, injustices, delights of childhood--her writing brought me closer to my kids as she refreshed my understanding of how people learn about life and love--I'm waiting for volume II please.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shades of Angela's Ashes, April 17 2000
This review is from: Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir (Paperback)
This book has the same ring of authenticity that made Angela's Ashes such an overwhelming popular success. And the author has the same rare ability to remember and still see her past through the eyes of a child. This precocious and funny book is excellent and will stay with you for a long time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, poignant, thoughtful, March 15 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Too Close to the Falls (Paperback)
I loved this book. A friend recommended it, knowing I grew up in the east and went to parochial school. Yet, anyone can relate to the honest, sometimes hysterically funny, sometimes bittersweet and thought-provoking writing. Read the first chapter and if you're not hooked I'll be amazed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Delight, Aug. 3 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir (Paperback)
What a joy it is to read a book that makes me laugh out loud! I haven't finished the book yet.....I prefer to savour favourite stories to make them last longer. But I can say I'm enjoying this book very much, and keeping my husband awake at night with constant giggles.
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Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir
Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir by Catherine Gildiner (Paperback - Oct. 1 1999)
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