Friday, November 27, 2009

The Day the Falls Stood Still Overview:Set against the backdrop of WWI and Niagara Falls, this debut tells the story of young Bess Heath and her struggle to navigate a quickly modernizing world. A child of privilege, Bess sees her fortunes change when her father loses his job. Cast into poverty, her family disgraced, Bess tries to hold things together while her sister slips into depression, her father drinks and her mother withdraws. After another tragedy strikes, Bess finds comfort in the love of Tom Cole, a river man with a mysterious connection to the falls. Overcoming the deep privation of the war and their own limited means, the two begin building a life together and renew their commitment to each other and their family.

I was browsing in Barnes & Noble and came across this book on a table of "New Fiction" books. (Yes...I'm a cheapskate...I don't buy books. I just use the store to get ideas for my reading list.)

The cover is absolutely breathtaking so I definitely feel I judged a book by its cover in this case. I remember reading the front inside cover flap and thinking "this sounds like a sweeping, romantic book. I'll read it." I put a request in at my local library and within a week or two the book came and I was ready to read it.

About a week in my husband asked me what the book was about. I read the inside flap of the cover to him and was embarrassed at how contrived the description sounded when one actually reads it out loud. It sounded so predictable and lame.

Unfortunately, after the first 150 pages, that's how this book seemed to me. Predictable and lame. It did start out good with the star-crossed lovers theme between the main characters of Bess and Tom, but it got really slow once Tom returned from WWI.

The author did a great job describing the beauty of Niagara Falls and the resiliency of the main character of Bess - especially her pre-wed years. However, I think her portrayal of the riverman, Tom Cole, was inconsistent. A man of his raw strength would just not slip in and out of the moodiness that she described throughout the book.

To recap:

Worth reading? No

Worth buying my own copy? Obviously no

Recommend to friends? Nope

Stars: 2 out of 5

A "trailer" for the book...not that great, but thought I'd share.

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