Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Classic Love Story Set Against the Niagra--Cathy Marie Buchanan's "The Day The Falls Stood Still"

So I seriously have not had much time for reading recently. Fall, that season I thought was going to be slower, seems to be flying by just as fast as summer did. And my evenings for the last week or so have been totally devoured by my other blog project, which just relaunched on www.990square.com. But hopefully now that it's done I'll have more time for reading! I have a couple of books I'm really excited about waiting for me--so that should be a good incentive.

This book had been on my TBR pile for a while, and I finally made time for it about two weeks ago. It was a pretty engaging read, even if it did feel a little too light on the history to be categorized as historical romance.

"The Day The Falls Stood Still" follows the life of Bess, a 17 year old rich girl who lives in Niagara Falls, Canada in 1915. After a chance meeting on a trolley car, Bess falls hard for Tom, the local riverman. They court in secret and ultimately Bess defies her family to marry Tom. Tom then ships off to World War I, and when he returns, nothing in Niagara Falls is the same as he left it. Will Bess and Tom be swept up in the change that surrounds them, or will they resist in an attempt to save themselves and the river they love.

"The Day The Falls Stood Still" is a classic love story--rich girl meets and falls in love with poor boy--mixed with the history of the eras around World War I and industrial change. Although much of the plot was predictable--if you've read one of these stories before, you can pretty much figure out what is going to happen--the historical element really provided an interesting twist, and I found myself completely sucked in to this story. I do feel like it was uneven at times, with some passages being completely riveting page turners, but others slower and more mellow. I really liked how the river itself was integrated into the story, becoming almost another character and companion for the protagonists.

If you enjoy historical romance this would be a good read for you. I am interested to see what else Cathy Buchanan writes, since this was a pretty strong first effort.

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