Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Day the Falls Stood Still ~ A Mezmorizing Read!!


"Beyond the hedge and gate marking the perimeter of the academy, and the steep descent leading to the wooded shore, I can see the upper river and the falls. Endless water plummets from the brink to the rocks below, like the careless who slip, like the stunters who fail, like the suicidal who leap. I nudge my attention downriver, to clouds of rising mist."
(Buchanan 2009:5)

I grew up in Ontario, discovered the falls like most Ontarians in my youth through family day trips. Its majesty and awe inspiring splendor, though tarnished by the wild build up of tourist traps and bizarre attractions, has retained its grandiose magnificence and remains a natural wonder to be marvelled! Though I had heard tales of death defying feats involving barrels and the rush of urges to defeat nature, to win over it and bond it up, harness its power, never had I felt its allure more than reading Cathy Marie Buchanan's The Day The Falls Stood Still.
Cathy Marie Buchanan
Buchanan's debut novel reads nothing like a first attempt but rather as the product of a long literary career. It is both lyrical and eloquently written with historical acumen. A haunting love story so deeply entrenched in its resplendent setting as to render it spellbinding.

It is the story of Bess Heath, a young girl living with her family in picturesque Niagara Falls during the rise of Hydro Electric power. It is the early 1900s and Bess's father once the director of the Niagara Power Company finds himself out of work. The family finds themselves in reduced circumstances and soon only their daughters can bring them the hope of social standing through their marital choices. Bess however discovers the truth of love with a Niagara "riverman".

Tom Cole knows the river as though it is an extension of his being. His admiration for the natural wonder of the falls, it's whirlpool, and the river, extends beyond the power of its harnessed energies to a respect and awareness of its natural force and its preservation. A hero in his own right--daring to rescue those lured by the danger of the falls--but not one with status and social standing, Tom Cole loves Bess with a passion and care even stronger than the power of his beloved falls! Through fateful family tragedy and loss, Bess is heartened by a metaphysical world Tom has introduced to her which parallels the mystic nature of the mists of the falls and the mysteries of the river.

"Even Mrs. Stowe had written about the lure of the falls, the sudden impulse that seized her when she gazed too long. I take Life and Letters of Harriet Beecher Stowe from the secretary and easily enough find the passage. "I felt as if I could have gone over with the waters; it would be so beautiful a death; there would be no fear in it."Though she does not say it, it seems Mrs. Stowe had the wherewithal for careful deliberation, even at the brink. It seems her more rational mind prevailed."(Buchanan 2009:123-124)

Buchanan captures the period striking a personal cord through authentic, honest characters. She pulls the strings which bind us to the past, the strings of universal emotion and wonderment. A deluge of emotions washed over me as I was plunged into the lush history of the falls and its surroundings. The lure of the falls has never felt as strong even as I recall my misted face and the roar of falling waters! Now I feel the lure of not only the plummeting cascade but of the people whose lives unfolded beneath its mists.

Become immersed in the unforgettable history of Niagara Falls through the lives of Cathy Buchanan's characters by reading The Day the Falls Stood Still.
You can read 20% of the book at Harper Collins Browse Inside.
Win a copy here at Northern Mama!
To Enter:

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Giveaway open to Canadian residents. Giveaway closes February 25, 2010 10:00pm CT. Read Giveaway Rules for details.

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80 comments:

  1. I would love to read this book because it sounds like ii will be very interesting. I live rather close to Niagara Falls and have been there hundreds of times over the years. I think the book with be more interesting and easy to follow because I have a little familiarity with the area.

    ayoung3360@hotmail.com

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  2. Sounds like a great read. I want to know what secret Bess' sister is keeping. I've been to Niagara Falls and it's beautiful and so powerful. I'd love to read this one. Thanks for the chance.

    dlodden at frontiernet dot net

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  3. I follow with Google Friend Connect.

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  4. I'm a Facebook fan (Darcy Odden)

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  5. I read this book already and it is indeed fantastic! It is a wonderful historical novel. I would love to own a copy :)

    vision.nguyen AT gmail DOT com

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  6. Google follower

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  9. love to read, and well the setting sounds beautiful

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  10. I visited Cathy Marie Buchanan's website. I love that interative map.
    I want to win this book because it's a love story and it takes place at my favourite place on earth, Niagara Falls.

    ewok_@live.ca

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  11. I follow you on google friend.
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  14. I would like to read this story, because it is based on actual events that happened in my region. (I live in the Golden Horseshoe.)

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

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  15. I follow.

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  18. I have always enjoyed visiting the Falls....the relationship between between Beth and Tom seems intriguing.

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  19. OOoh I'd love to read this one - sounds interesting and mysterious!!!! Love it!

    tanandjosh@telus.net

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  20. I follow via Google Friend Connect (tanandjosh)

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  24. I love books set around the turn of the century, and I would love to learn more about Canadian history. I read the first page on Harper, and it has my attention. Thank you for this contest!
    teagirl1 at telus dot net

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  25. I follow via google friend connect!

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  26. I'd love to read this because I enjoy books that occur in places I'm familiar with - it's exciting to recognize landmarks, etc. As well, I've read so many fabulous reviews of this one.

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  30. I love to read anything I can get my hands on. :)
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  35. I would like to read this because of the actually events that have happened

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  38. This looks like such an interesting book! I would love to read it to learn the history of Niagara Falls and to see all the wonderful pictures. Thank you for this nice giveaway and please count me in.

    chinook92 at gmail dot com

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  44. I'd love the chance to read this!
    Niagara Falls is one of my places in Ontario!

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  47. I would love to read this book, as I love historical fiction (and Canadian historical fiction is even better). I'd like to be swept away with a 1915 Niagara Falls story.

    suesaunders2atgmaildotcom

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  57. I'd love to read this, it sounds like a very heart-wrenching and moving love story.

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  63. I would like to read this book because i am a fellow canadian and it sounds very interesting.

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