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.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Waiting For Columbus

This was an interesting read. Although it was a long and winding road, the journey
was a good one. Columbus. Who would have guessed that Christopher Columbus would ever
be a controversial figure. Columbus discovered America in 1492. Period.

Not so fast~ that may not be the way it happened. But although this book is called
Waiting for Columbus, it is not that Columbus. Or, is it? Well maybe. It might
be Christopher Columbus, pal of Queen Isabella and Captain of the la Callega. But wait,
isn't that the Santa Maria? Well yes it is! Confusing, isn't it?

Waiting for Columbus is a somewhat confusing book. The man who was gor many years honored
for discovering the Americas flipping channels on tv, and using a phone. How can that be?
Ask Zimmerman, whoever he is. What?

What indeed. Fifteenth century, twenty first century, one overlaid by the other.
Intriguing. Who is this Christopher Columbus anyway? That indeed is the question.
We do find out by the way. With the help of the most intriguing Emile, the earnest Dr Balderas,
and the beautiful Consuala who is a little bit in love with...someone.

I am glad I read this book. It is a mystery, a love story and has a form of time travel tossed in
for good measure. Mental time travel, but it is there, to be sure. It is worth getting through the
occasionally slow and redundant story to get to the answer. Most of the story drew me in and
the characters were likable and interesting.

So, Like I said.. three stars, I am glad I read it, and think you will be too.