Buchanan, Cathy Marie. The Day the Falls Stood Still. Read by Karen White. Ontario: Tantor, 2009
Bess Heath is a seventeen year old junior at her private boarding school when her father is laid off from the Niagara Electric Company. After returning home for the summer she realizes nothing remains the same. Now that her father is unemployed, her mother must take on seamstress work to make ends meet and Bess and her sister, Isabel learn to chip in. Bess becomes an accomplished seamstress and slowly builds up her own list of customers. Once Bess meets Tom Cole her life takes another drastic turn. The rest of the story is a love story on multiple levels that spans Bess’s formative years. She falls in love, learns about death and the value of family. She also discovers what it means to be torn between two loyalties. Tom, because of his relationship with nature, is in direct conflict with the Niagara Hydra-electric. Bess has a long standing history with the power company and has a love-hate relationship with the whirlpool at the base of the falls. Both have a deep personal history with the temperamental river. Together, theirs is a story of triumph over tragedy.
Even though this was an audio book I could barely “put it down.” I loved Buchanan’s writing style. You can’t help but fall in love with Bess.
Reason read: March 29, 1848: it was cold enough to make Niagara Falls freeze, hence the day the falls stood still.
Author fact: Buchanan has her own website here.
Book trivia: The Day the Falls Stood Still is Cathy Marie Buchanan’s first novel.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called simply “Niagara Falls” (p 156). Can’t get any easier than that.