Top positive review
Force of Nature Writing
on August 8, 2013
Young Bess Heath, protagonist of Cathy Marie Buchanan’s remarkable novel “The Day the Falls Stood Still” abruptly emerges from a childhood of easy wealth to glimpse her life on the edge of a roaring whirlpool. The force of Nature, symbolized by the story’s setting in Niagara Falls, eclipses Bess’ personal difficulties and she focuses on the preoccupation of all young women: she falls in love. Here too conflicts thunder with the force of the Great Niagara Falls.
The writing in this book is superb. The detailed attention to nonfiction information, including a history of the Niagara Power Company, the myths involving some of the daredevils and River men who have populated Niagara Falls, Buchanan’s home town, her ease in describing the beautiful, treacherous power of the Falls and the Escarpment in different seasons, her clarity about the effects of World War One on the lives of those who served and those who remained behind, even her superior breadth of knowledge about the baroque craft of sewing flow seamlessly throughout the novel, blending fiction and nonfiction in a single whole.