Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Day The Falls Stood Still

Synopsis(courtesy of Barnes and Noble)
Steeped in the intriguing history of Niagara Falls, this epic love story is 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 Niagara Falls. But when she arrives, nothing is as she had 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, her 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 power of the falls for themselves. As their 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.

My Review

This was an interesting book for me. I have never been to Niagara Falls although I have always longed to go. The book has old pictures and articles throughout the book which make it even more intriguing. The Falls are not only the setting for the novel but actually seem like a character. Bess Heath's life Takes a drastic change at age 17 when she she arrives home from school. Her father has lost his prestigious job, her older sister is no longer engaged and hides in her room, and her mother has taken in sewing jobs. Quite different from the high society life they were all used to before. Bess meets Tom Cole on the trolley platform and is instantly smitten with him. Tom Cole is a river man knows the Falls like the back of his hand. He also knows if the power companies have their way the Falls will be changed forever. There are many rough bumps for these two as they fall in love and grow. Her family is dead set against Tom as he is not from their place in society. The story flows quite well and there are many twists and turns to keep the story interesting. There is much history intertwined in the story. I loved both Bess and Tom. I saw them as true soul mates. This book was hard to put down once I started reading it. It is a great love story but yet it tells some of the story of Niagara Falls. I never knew it was such a dangerous, tragic location. The Falls are beautiful but many have paid the ultimate price there. I would say it is one of my favorite reads of the year so far. I scored this book at the library. I would give it 5 stars.


  1. Great review. I loved this book too. I have read quite a few other reviews for this book and they have all been very positive.

  2. Loved your review, as well as the book. The cover is stunning too.

  3. I also loved this book and gave it 5 stars. I like how you commented that falls actually seemed to be a character of its own. That is so true. Thanks for the review.

  4. Thanks for reviewing my debut novel. I do hope you get to go to Niagara Falls some day.



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