Inkpop Blog

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Blogger Book Review: The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on February 12, 2011

Welcome to inkpop’s newest feature: Blogger Book Review. Each week we will be featuring a different review from a book blogger, as part of a new form of cross-promotion we are doing to spread the word about inkpop, and introduce you to fantastic books that you may have overlooked in the past – but definitely need to check out!

Today we bring you a review of The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan from Cat at the blog Beyond Books. Cat has been blogging about the books she reads at Beyond Books since March of 2005, and describes herself as the following “I am darkness and light and bubbles and faerie wings.” Stop by Beyond Books for more book reviews; but for now, immerse yourself in The Day the Falls Stood Still.

“This book is beautiful, heart-wrenching and powerful. I was completely immersed in the life of Bess Heath. I found myself reading about historical events and terms that I vaguely remember being forced to learn about when I was in high school with no care about them then. This book made me wish I remembered more about them, or cared more when I was 14. But when I was 14 I was going to be a Rock Star and I didn’t give a hoot about what sort of Hydro Electric pacts were being made over the falls in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Whatevs! – I would scoff.

I cared deeply for Bess and her sister Isabelle and was heartbroken when Bess was heartbroken throughout the story. I found Bess’s relationship with Mrs. Anderson endearing and touching and I often had to remind myself that as she was married on her 18th birthday, the three years that had passed while her beloved was at war made her only 21. Bess lived through more in those 3 years than I feel I have lived in my 34.

Toward the end of the novel I turned to my husband and said, ‘This is a book they should teach in English classes in Canada.’ And I mean it, I would have probably scoffed at the historical parts when I was in 10th or 11th grade (in Quebec high school is grades 7-11) but I would have fallen in love with the characters and therefore cared about what happened to the falls or to the people who drowned in them or made their livelihood from them. This book is steeped in very important Canadian history and yet it is woven so gracefully into the plot as a whole you do not feel like you’re being forced to read a stuffy ol’ history textbook.

It has the same sort of feeling that Anne of Green Gables had, or the Little House on the Prairie series. You grow to love the characters and what they care about and you weep with them over loss as you have come to adore those that have passed away just as much as the characters do.

I myself have only been to Niagara Falls once in my life, and I don’t really remember much other than that none of the boots or raincoats fit me for the Maid of the Mist boat ride and that my parents wouldn’t take my sister and I to the wax museum because they said we were too young. I think I might have been 7 or 8 on this trip, 9 at the oldest. I have often said I would like to go back one day, but sadly it’s very much a tourist trap these days and I don’t like the crowds and of course everything is cordoned off for safety. I would love to see the falls as they were back in 1915.

The next book that Cathy Marie Buchanan puts out I am picking up without any hesitation. She created a world out of history that was so enrapturing that I was sad when I was finished with the story. I thought I was starting a new chapter when I realized that I was reading the Author’s Note. Oops! I was still reeling from events that had just come to pass and wasn’t paying attention to the chapter numbers! Even now I am still grieving for fictional characters that I will never get to know.

Brilliant novel that made me discover a new appreciation of Canadian history.

(Thank you, HC Canada!)”

Thank you to Cat from Beyond Books for introducing us to The Day the Falls Stood Still.

Over to you…have you read The Day the Falls Stood Still? If so, what did you think of it? If not, will you be picking this book up during your next trip to the bookstore and/or library?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

4 Responses to “Blogger Book Review: The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan”

  1. Cat said

    How embarrassing to be so excited to see yourself all up in lights and then notice spelling errors in your post. *blush*

    is woven so gracefully into the plot as a hole” – by hole, I actually mean, WHOLE, of course.



  2. So wonderful to see this here, spelling and all. BTW, I am the worst speller in the world. Absolutely nothing I would notice.


    • junebug:] said

      don’t worry about it. at least you’ve got good content.
      nice review by the way.
      thanks hc, i like this feature. more books for me to borrow and read. hehe.

  3. Narnia Fan said

    This is a great idea! 🙂 And it looks like a great book. I’ll try to track it down.

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