Thursday, August 13, 2009
The Day The Falls Stood Still
by Cathy Marie Buchanan
This story takes place in Niagara Falls beginning in 1915. The main character is Bess Heath.
Bess is a warm and gentle young lady who loves her family, and is especially close with her sister Isabel. She is a student at Loretto Academy for young ladies, and has a pleasant and genteel life.
Things begin to fall apart for her family early on in this book. The end of the school year is being celebrated at Loretto, and Bess finds that her father and sister have not come to participate in the festivities.
As the ceremony ends she begins to learn just why and what that is going to mean to her.
Tom Cole is introduced soon after, but is not fully explained immediately. He is a fascinating and important character in this story.
Interspersed between chapters are newspaper stories about the area both at that time, and stories from the past. They are fictional, of course but add a lot to the story.
We follow the effects that progress, grief, war and depression have on Bess' family. Each of the characters is given enough background to round them out and make them three dimensional and believable. I found myself caring what happened to these good people.
When I first read the blurbs for this book, I thought it sounded interesting, and it was. It was however, so much more, in a way that is difficult to explain. Perhaps the fact that the setting is one that is so familiar to so many is part of that. The authors gift for drawing the reader into the story is no doubt another.