The Day the Falls Stood Still

The Day the Falls Stood Still

A Novel

Book - 2009
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Steeped in the intriguing history of Niagara Falls, this is an epic love story as rich, spellbinding and majestic as the falls themselves.

1915. The dawn of the hydroelectric power era in Niagara Falls. Seventeen-year-old Bess Heath has led a sheltered existence as the youngest daughter of the director of the Niagara Power Company. After graduation day at her boarding school, she is impatient to return to her picturesque family home near the falls. But when she arrives, nothing is as she left it. Her father has lost his job at the power company, her mother is reduced to taking in sewing from the society ladies she once entertained, and Isabel, Bess's vivacious older sister, is a shadow of her former self. She has shut herself in her bedroom, barely eating and harboring a secret.

The night of her return, Bess meets Tom Cole by chance on a trolley platform, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him against her family's strong objections. He is not from their world. Rough-hewn and fearless, he lives off what the river provides and has an uncanny ability to predict the whims of the falls. His daring river rescues render him a local hero and cast him as a threat to the power companies that seek to harness the falls for themselves. As the couple's lives become more fully entwined, Bess is forced to make a painful choice between what she wants and what is best for her family and her future.

Set against the tumultuous backdrop of Niagara Falls, at a time when daredevils shot the river rapids in barrels and great industrial fortunes were made and lost as quickly as lives disappeared, The Day the Falls Stood Still is an intoxicating debut novel.
Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2009
Edition: 1st Canadian ed. --
ISBN: 9781554683277
Branch Call Number: FIC Bucha 3558ad 1
Characteristics: vii, 307 p. :,ill


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WVMLStaffPicks Sep 05, 2014

Set against the tumultuous backdrop of Niagara Falls at a time when daredevils shot the river rapids in barrels and great industrial fortunes were made and lost with the dawn of hydroelectric power, The Day the Falls Stood Still is an intoxicating debut novel. Part Canadian history, part romance and social comment, this novel offers the reader an insightful look into women's lives during and after the First World War as they struggled to find their place in a rapidly changing world.

Jan 04, 2014

I had never heard of this book. It took a while to get into the plot, but it turned out to be a surprisingly good book. It is historical fiction based on facts about the mid 1800's harnessing of Nigara Falls. The ending is sad, as many books of that era were.
I would reccomend it for a summer or winter read.

Icicle Feb 23, 2011

This book reminded me of "City of Light" by Lauren Belfer. Both are interesting in their coverage of the history of Niagara Falls, but the characters and plots are not so amazing.

hermlou Jan 11, 2011

The setting for this love story is Niagara Falls in 1915. Very well written, it has historical details of the falls and daredevils who challenged them, also the men who developed energy from them. The backdrop of World War I adds interest.

Sep 21, 2010

I found this to be a beautiful book. I was a little nervous about how much I would like a book that's set in the 1800s (and early 1900s), however, that aspect brought SO much to the story and I was very thankful for it in the end. The characters are wonderful and the description of the Falls and river, etc. leave you with a vivid picture of what it was like to be there at that time. Worthwhile read!

(Staff) Elaine Bird Aug 11, 2010

An enjoyable read. The time and place of the story are central to what happens. The falls and river are a character in the story. Filled with interesting tidbits about the history of Niagara Fall, the story feels authentic.

Apr 20, 2010

I really enjoyed this book. I used to live in Niagara Falls and it was interesting to recognize places/streets in the book.

Dec 14, 2009

A wonderful first world war story of Niagara Falls. Full of history, the characters are vibrant and real, and the Falls become a character in itself. The ending is as expected, and not necessarily happy.

Dec 05, 2009

Niagara Falls was my favourite character in this book. I wasn't quite as awestruck with the love story, but did enjoy it. Based loosely on a real riverman back in the early 1900's - his photo is at the back of the book, and he looks just like a hero (rather hot actually). Apparently he saved around 175 lives and many hundreds of animals over the years. The book examines faith, in particular the loss of faith, and that is something that I certainly could relate to.

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