countdown boutiques-francophones Learn more scflyout Home All-New Kindle Music Deals Store sports Tools Registry

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$22.75+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 12, 2011
Every year millions of people visit Niagara Falls. It continues to be one of the top tourist destinations. If you've ever been there, you understand why. To stand at the brink of the Falls watching more than six million cubic feet cascade over the edge every minute is mine boggling. It is not a sight you will soon forget.

Author Cathy Buchanan has truly captured the majesty and excitement of the area in her novel The Day the Falls Stood Still.

The story is set in the time of World War 1 and the years afterward. Young Bess Heath has one year of school at Loretto Academy left, when her mother removes her from the school.

Her father had been working for the hydro company and has recently lost his job. Her sister's engagement has been broken. The whole family is trying to find themselves again. Into all this turmoil, add a young man that Bess has spied in the area.

I was transfixed by this book. I suppose it had to do with having grown up only fifteen minutes away from the falls. It was a common occurrence at my house to jump in the car to go and see the 'lights' at night, to go and see if the ice bridge had closed across the river below the fall. to visit for any reason.

I have watched a fair number of shows about Niagara Falls as well as stories that have been set in the town, and this book ranks at the top with the best of them. Most definitely this is the book to read if you want to get a true feeling of what the area must have been like prior to it becoming a huge tourist mecca.

The character of Tom Cole is loosely based on true life river man Red Hill. Additional information about Red Hill and the events and rescues he was involved in.
review image review image review image
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I'll start off by admitting I may be a little biased. There is something captivating about reading a book when you recognize the street names, know the buildings mentioned, have been to the natural landmarks and live a block away from the church the family attended. But when I also find myself reading a brilliant epic love story I think my insider knowledge is more of a bonus than a bias.

Bess and Tom come from different classes. Bess is the 17yo daughter of an influential man at Niagara Power and lives in Glenview Mansion. She attends a Catholic Girls Academy (even though the family isn't Catholic) and leads a sheltered life. Tom is about 22 and is the local riverman. He catches fish for pay, pulls dead bodies out of the river, works a few nights in the saloon he has a room over and is always on hand when help is needed down at the river. When these two meet each other it is love at first sight but many things stand in their way including themselves.

While the beautiful love story is the main plot there are many other themes running through the book. The plight of women during this period is masterfully woven into the story with unwed pregnancy, suicide, women working during the war, and women being given the vote during WWI if they had a husband or son overseas. The effect the war had on the women as they stayed home and wondered if their husbands would ever come home and the plight of the men who did come home who were wounded beyond repair and others who had unseen wounds, those of the mind that don't heal so easily.

It is also a story of the environment as the whole history of the harnessing of the power of the Falls for electricity takes place during this time period. Sir Adam Beck, the government, the big business and everyone else it seems is so excited about more and more electricity at less cost that nobody seems to know what it is doing to the river itself, nobody but Tom that is, who knows the river like the back of his hand, and what he sees scares and saddens him. The characters all stand out wonderfully but it is Tom, a true hero, who captures your heart.

A riveting book. I could hardly put it down and read it very quickly. It is emotional; there is sadness. I almost cried at the end, with a lump in my throat, mad, for a moment, at this tragedy we call life. An astounding first novel! Ms. Buchanan is a talented writer with a future ahead of her. I will be interested to see where she goes with her next novel. Highly Recommended! This one is certainly going to make my top ten list this year.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 29, 2012
I loved this book from the start. The characters are dynamic and sympathetic, and the setting is fabulous and so well described. I don't normally enjoy novels where the author spends much time on the setting, but in this book the setting is itself a primary character. It also had a strong element of history, but it was interwoven with the story beautifully. I've never been to Niagara Falls, but after reading this want to visit in person at my next opportunity!
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 30, 2016
This is a book I would recommend just for the historical value: here we have an interesting account of the hydro electric development of Niagara Falls with the issues of progress vs environment, as well as sentiments surrounding WW! - patriotism, fear, and loss, and the role of women, religion and status as Canada approached its sixth decade.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 21, 2011
The Day the Falls Stood Still is a hypnotizing read with depth and detail that astounds. Bubbling with an understated emotion, this delightful debut delves into love, family, duty and the choices that divide.

Although centered around a love story, many other themes swim beneath the surface of this novel including war time strife, economics, politics, theology, and environmental issues just to name a few and that doesn't even delve into the personal issues many characters in this novel face. They are all woven together in a rich tapestry and along with the delightful details of the era and Buchanan's elegant prose, it is not difficult to see why this novel was chosen as a finalist for Canada Reads 2010.

From the first sentence, I was immediately immersed into the story and the setting. The smallest details were the most powerful and I have such a vivid picture of every location in this novel, yet I never felt bogged down in detail. At times I wasn't even sure if what I was reading was fiction, which is a testament to how skillfully woven this tale is between fiction and the historical events that took place in Niagara Falls at that time.

I really enjoyed Bess's character. A strong female protagonist, she picks herself up and moves forward with each challenge that's thrown at her. She holds herself together for her family and never becomes whiny, needy or hard. She simply carries on. Bess supports her husband, stands by her decision to marry him when others question it, and even when she does herself on rare occasion. At no time did I ever question her love for Tom and it was such a wonderful love story to read, and with the other interwoven themes, this novel stood out for me as a complex story.

Having been to Niagara Falls multiple times over the years, I've always had enjoyedd the falls, but this novel's portrayal of their beauty, majesty, power and force will have me viewing them differently next time I visit. I will also have much more of an appreciation for the environmental challenges surrounding the falls and how the tourist industry now overshadows them.

I don't often quote from novels, but thought this was lovely and poignant, and it was far from the first or last snippets of prose that I savoured: "It seems a cruel trick that time contracts when you want to savor it and expands insatiably when you do not."

I am certain I will reread The Day the Falls Stood Still at some point and definitely look forward to reading more from Cathy Marie Buchanan.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 14, 2010
I take issue with most of Schmadrian's critical comments. I found the characters in The Day the Falls Stood Still to be real and the point of view effective. The historical aspect was written into the novel in a smooth and natural manner. The politics of the time, the geography, the love story - all worked together to make a book that captured my interest immediately and held it from beginning to end.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 7, 2009
Simply put: I loved this book. I smiled, I cried, I didn't want it to end. Not since reading Margaret Atwood's ALIAS GRACE have I felt so emotionally connected to the setting,characters and story. THE DAY THE FALLS STOOD STILL is one of those rare literary finds that you simply cannot put down. I highly recommend this book to historical fiction buffs or anyone who simply wants a fabulous read.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 2, 2011
I purchased this book after spending an evening listening to the author. The length of time writing and researching books is very extensive, and this author should receive high ratings just for that. Having grown up in Niagara Falls she brings a wonderful passion to the book. This book marries true events that took place in Niagara Falls with a story of true love. The book raises many moral issues regarding technological advances that threaten the flow of the Falls without becoming a book solely focussed on the abuse and influence the power company has on the town. There are many sublayers in this book that give the reader pause for more indepth discussion and thought. The charachters are strong and true to themselves. I will look at the majesty of Niagara Falls in a whole new way.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 2, 2010
I enjoyed this book so much I would love to see it win a Giller. I was drawn in right from the first page and had a hard time putting it down. I felt entertained and educated at the same time. The Day the Falls Stood Still is rich in history and so beautifully written; before you know it you have read several chapters without realizing it. If you enjoyed The Glass Castle, you will love this book even more. Cathy's writing has just the right amount of detail, and her characters are so real you can't help but empathize with them. I can't wait for Cathy's next book and would read it in a heartbeat.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 23, 2010
This book is a gentle page-turner. One comes to care about the characters, and to become a part of their lives &community. For those of us who have grown up visiting this lovely area of Ontario, it is a pleasure to read fine details of an earlier Niagara Falls and its history. A book that I will keep and read again.

I want to tag 'Recommended', but the item will not let me to that, so I am putting it here. Thanks.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items