"Steeped in the intriguing history of Niagara Falls, this is an epic love story as rich, spellbinding and majestic as the falls themselves.
1915. The dawn of the hydroelectric power era in Niagara Falls. Seventeen-year-old Bess Heath has led a sheltered existence as the youngest daughter of the director of the Niagara Power Company. After graduation day at her boarding school, she is impatient to return to her picturesque family home near the falls. But when she arrives, nothing is as she left it. Her father has lost his job at the power company, her mother is reduced to taking in sewing from the society ladies she once entertained, and Isabel, Bess’s vivacious older sister, is a shadow of her former self. She has shut herself in her bedroom, barely eating and harboring a secret.
The night of her return, Bess meets Tom Cole by chance on a trolley platform, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him against her family’s strong objections. He is not from their world. Rough-hewn and fearless, he lives off what the river provides and has an uncanny ability to predict the whims of the falls. His daring river rescues render him a local hero and cast him as a threat to the power companies that seek to harness the falls for themselves. As the couple’s lives become more fully entwined, Bess is forced to make a painful choice between what she wants and what is best for her family and her future.
Set against the tumultuous backdrop of Niagara Falls, at a time when daredevils shot the river rapids in barrels and great industrial fortunes were made and lost as quickly as lives disappeared, The Day the Falls Stood Still is an intoxicating debut novel."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cathy Marie Buchanan’s stories have appeared in several of Canada’s most respected literary journals: The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, Descant, The New Quarterly and Quarry. She holds a BSC (Honors Biochemistry) and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario. Born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario, she grew up amid the awe-inspiring scenery of the Niagara River and awash in the local lore. She now resides in Toronto. Visit her website at www.cathymariebuchanan.com
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(above book description and author bio from: Harper Collins Canada)
Bess is barely a teenager when this book begins, and she is thrust into situations that would be hard for anyone to handle. Her father loses his job, she is forced to leave the school that she loves, and this is just a beginning. Accustomed to an affluent and pampered lifestyle, the family is separated from all they are familiar with, and even their friends disappear from their lives. Bess and her sister Isabel make some very difficult choices that will haunt the family for years. This is a beautiful love story of a young couple trying to deal with loss and separation during war times, and then trying to build their life together when the war is over. Filled with history in the Niagara Falls area, it is a real eye opener to what the whole family endures during war time. I loved this book, and will definitely look for more novels written during this time period of Canadian history.
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Thank you to Amanda at Harper Collins for sending me a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review.