Monday, September 14, 2009

Review: The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan...and BBAW Giveaway #2


At the age of seventeen, as she is finishing her junior year at high school in 1915, Bess Heath's father loses his job as Director of the Niagara Power Company. As she returns home from boarding school, the realities of the family's situation begin to sink in. Bess's mother comes to fetch her alone, without her father or the car. They make their way home by streetcar, lugging Bess's heavy trunk. A young working man gets off when they do and offers to carry the trunk up to the house. Bess is smitten immediately.

Life at home has become grim. Bess's father is away all day, drowning his troubles in whiskey. Her older sister, Isabel, is very ill, refusing to eat and wasting away. Her mother has turned to her talent at sewing to provide a small income for the family, who are now living in a house they can't afford. Bess does what she can to assist her mother, sewing and caring for Isabel. The young man who carried the trunk begins to appear on the road daily with his fishing catch, on his way back from the river. He gifts Bess with fish and soon she is eagerly anticipating his visits. Her mother is appalled and insists that Bess stop seeing him.

The young man's name is Tom Cole and he has spent all his life around the river and the famous falls. His grandfather, Fergus, was famous for rescuing people from the falls and for having a kind of intuition where the river was concerned. Tom seems to have inherited his grandfather's gifts and knows the river and falls better than anyone else. So he is extremely unhappy about the plans of the electric companies to harness the power of the river. He knows that it will affect everything about the ecosystems around the water and drop the level of the water, too.

Though she is in love with Tom, Bess buckles under pressure from her parents and agrees to marry an old family friend who can afford to restore Bess to her former lifestyle. Shortly after that, Isabel disappears. Tom is the one who pulls her body from the river and comes to tell Bess. Through her grief, she realizes that she can't live without Tom, no matter what the cost.

With World War I looming and the world changing as the electric age dawns, Bess and Tom start their lives together. Their fate will be intricately entwined with the river and the falls.


First time Canadian novelist Cathy Marie Buchanan won my heart with this love story. I so enjoyed the setting and the way she brought the Niagara river to life until its presence in the book was equal to Bess and Tom, a character in its own right. It is a love story in so many ways: the love between man and wife, parent and child, family members, humans and the natural world. Love of country, too, the author's pride in Canada shines through the passages about the War and its aftermath. The character of Tom is loosely based on the legendary Niagara riverman William "Red" Hill and the story has a realistic feel to it. It could be an old diary you are reading, complete with struggle and despair, joy and elation. An excellent debut novel...I'll be waiting for more from Cathy Marie Buchanan!

The Day the Falls Stood Still made its debut on the New York Times bestseller list at #31! It is published by Voice/Hyperion, ISBN 978-1-4013-4097-1. For more information about the book, please visit the author's website. Here is the trailer:






I have one copy of The Day the Falls Stood Still that will go to one randomly drawn winner! To enter, just leave a comment here that includes your email address. Contest is open to US and Canada residents. You can enter thru midnight eastern time on September 19th. Be sure to check out all the the other fabulous giveaways happening during BBAW, click on the link or the button on the upper left for a complete list! Thanks so much for visiting and entering!

76 comments:

Beth F said...

Great review (as always!). I have wanted to read this since I first saw it advertised. Please do enter me. BFish (dot) Reads (at) gmail.com

Kira R. said...

I would like to enter as well. Thanks!

kirar59(at)yahoo(dot)ca

Linda said...

Ever since visiting Buffalo and seeing the Falls, I've been fascinated by the history.
lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

S. Krishna said...

I've seen so much about this book around the blogosphere and would love the chance to read it.

skrishna [at]skrishnasbooks[dot]com

Beth said...

I have been wanting to read this book. All the reviews for it have been wonderful. Please enter me. Thanks!

bthgordon[at]yahoo[dot]com

Hawkeyegirl said...

I'm usually skeptical of the books Barnes and Noble shoves in your face at the front door (I saw this one the other day), but the reviews have been so good, I think I'll ignore my irrational prejudice for this one. Sign me up!
hawkeyegirl at gmail dot com

wordlily said...

I've been seeing this one everywhere! I'd love to read it. WordLily AT gmail DOT com

Riva said...

Your review makes this look like one I need to read. Please enter me.

dulcibelle at earthlink dot net

elnice said...

This sounds wonderful. I used to live in the north and visited the falls countless times, I think I would really enjoy a book being set there.
zenfoxflowerATyahooDOTcom

Wanda said...

Please enter my name in your draw. Thanks.
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

ccqdesigns said...

This book sounds so interesting to me. I visited the falls when I was 11 and I still remember them. And, since today is my BIRTHDAY, I need a present.

rebecca dot cox at charter dot net

carolsnotebook said...

Everything about this book sounds so good. I'd love to be entered.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

Allison said...

I always love reading your blog!

Allison said...

oops..forgot my email

allisonsattic at gmail.com

writemeg said...

I've noticed this one around the blogosphere lately but never paused to learn much about it until your review! It sounds heartbreaking and awesome -- much like how I felt standing underneath the falls myself a few years ago! :)

I'd love to be entered -- thanks for the chance!

writing.meg [at] gmail.com

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Ooh please enter me. This sounds good.

michwerm (at) gmail (dot) com

Thank you!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Ooh please enter me. This sounds good.

michwerm (at) gmail (dot) com

Thank you!

bermudaonion said...

I'm excited to see the book's so good! No need to enter me - I have the book.

traveler said...

Thanks for this wonderful giveaway. I am captivated with the interview and this novel. I have been to Niagara falls many times since I used to live on the Canadian side. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Luanne said...

Great review and great giveaway! thanks - luanne.ollivier at gmail.com

Emily said...

I would love a chance to win this book!

emily DOT wittenberg @ gmail DOT com

mountainsofbooks said...

Oh my gosh! I just saw this book a B&N. It looks great!

mountainsofbooks (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sheila said...

Please enter me.

ludeluh at yahoo dot com

Sue said...

This looks so great! Thanks for sharing it.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Jennifer said...

Fantastic review! Thank you for offering this book up! Keeping my fingers crossed.
knittingmomof3(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Cherie J said...

Great review! Sounds really good! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

rubynreba said...

Sounds like a great book - thanks!
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Pam said...

Every time I've been to the Falls, there has been some sort of adventure, whether it involved picking trilliums in a public park to later learn that was illegal or having the fireman rescue me from a hotel bathroom, or the list could go on. I obviously have my own history of the Falls, but I'd love to learn more about others' histories of the Falls.

melacan at hotmail dot com

Zibilee said...

This book is getting great mentions all over the place. I am really glad you liked it and that it moved you so much. I am looking forward to reading it when I can, and would love to be entered in this contest.

zibilee(at)figearo(dot)net

nfmgirl said...

Please count me in. Thanks so much!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

holdenj said...

I've been wanting to read this one! Thanks for the great review and chance to win!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Jenny N. said...

I just watched the book trailer and would love to win this book.

jen4777[at]hotmail.com

Alyce said...

I would love to read this book!

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Tina said...

I'd love to have this one. Please enter me.

tbranco(at)hughes(dot)net

Literary Feline said...

Great review, Carey! I really want to read this one. I've been fascinated by the history of Niagara Falls since my first visit there.

Please enter me.
literaryfeline AT gmail DOT com

Kat Bryan said...

What a catchy title! If the story lives up to the name, it should be very good.
winterset AT peoplepc.com

Nicole said...

This was such a fabulous book. I loved it. I was so pulled in. Great review. You know not to enter me right? lol

Kristen M. said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. All of the reviews are great!

webereading AT gmail dot com

heatherzilla said...

What a beautiful cover! Sounds like a good book.

heatherzilla(at)care2(dot)com

halfmoon_mollie said...

I love the Falls and anything to do with them. This sounds like a FABULOUS book! Please put me in the drawing...

flowerchild said...

please count me in..thanks
flower_child_23(at)hotmail(dot)com

Misusedinnocence said...

I would love to read this, and I follow. :)

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Beth said...

Please enter me. Thanks for the chance.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

fitz12383 said...

Oh...please enter me for this one.

Thanks!

Amanda N.
fitz12383(at)hotmail(dot)com

Diana said...

Sounds awesome!

uhzanaid[at]gmail[dot]com

Marie said...

This sounds like a great book!

marielay@gmail.com

Infant Bibliophile said...

Love the title of this book -- makes me want to read it on that alone. My email is in my profile; thanks!

bridget3420 said...

Count me in:)

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

Stacie said...

Please enter me.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Belinda M said...

Please include me in your giveaway


Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

Neas Nuttiness said...

I'd love a chance at winning a copy.
Thanks so much for the giveaway.

libneas[at]aol[dot]com

Lucyinthesky said...

I'd love a chance to win this book. It sounds like a great story--one that will hook me from the first few pages. Thanks for the chance.

espressogurl at hotmail dot com

Stephanie said...

I love love stories-please enter me! stephaniefleischer889 [at] gmail [dot] com

edmontonjb said...

I like from this time period. Please enter my name.
dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

mindy said...

this sounds awesome thanks minsthins at optonline dot net

Paula said...

Please enter me...this sounds so good.


ryspenc@yahoo.com

bookbliss said...

I want to enter! bookbliss@riella.com

GMR said...

Yes...definitely enter me for this title! I saw the cover online in an advertisement when it first came out and had to stop all other activity to read the summary....

Thanks for the great contest and happy BBAW!

grgenius(at)go(dot)com

Carol W. said...

The reviews are very positive for this book. Please enter me in the giveaway.

wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

Nicole said...

This book sounds like a good and intense read. I'd love to win.
Nicole at momsavesmoney dot net

ikkinlala said...

I'd like to enter, please.

ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

Deedles said...

I would love to enter. Please add my name to the draw.
djeanq(at)gmail(dot)com

Carol Dirks said...

Would love to win this. My library doesn't have it.
Thanks.
Carol
cdirks1@sbcglobal.net

SusanB said...

Sounds like a great book. Please enter me.
Susan.byerly@comcast.net

wynne said...

I would like to enter as well. Thanks!
DubyaD@hotmail.com

Debbie F said...

Please include me!

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Carol said...

I would really love to read this! It sounds so good! Thank you!
Carol M
mittens0831 at aol dot com

mariag said...

Great review. Please enter me to win.

Joanne said...

Really wonderful review! And I am also excited about new Canuck authors, I'd love to be entered in your giveaway :)

shiloki(at)gmail(dot)com

MUM said...

Oh wow, the 19th is my birthday! I really hope I win this. It sounds soooo good. :D

Marie
utah91960(at)yahoo(dot)com

Belinda M said...

Please include me in your giveaway


Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

Rebecca N. said...

I love books set in this time period! Thanks for the great giveaway!

imsosweepy { at } gmail { dot } com

~The Book Pixie said...

I have this book on the way but would love to win another copy to give to my mom. I know she'd love to have it.

+1 already follower

+1 Sidebar: http://frombrianaspointofview.blogspot.com/

+3 Subscribe via feedburner

~Briana
thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

Brittany said...

I would love to win this book - I feel like I've been seeing it everywhere!
decklededgesblog at gmail dot com

Cathy Marie Buchanan said...

Thanks for the review my book.

I do love that so many people have a personal connection to Niagara Falls.

Stephanie said...

Obviously, I'm coming late to the party, but I just read and reviewed this book myself, and I thoroughly enjoyed your review. I am becoming a follower. I'm also linking to this post from my blog. :-)

Thank you!!

Thank you to Beth at Beth Fish Reads and to The Blogger Guide for helping me to customize my template and to Andrea at The Little Bookworm for improving my header!!

About Me

My photo
New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.