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The Day the Falls Stood Still

1 rating: -2.0
novel
1 review about The Day the Falls Stood Still

The power and beauty, and yes, nostalgia, of Niagara Falls gives you something to care about.

  • Jun 20, 2010
  • by
Rating:
-2
I wanted to like this novel so much. I was so excited when I picked it up. As a lover of antiques, records and old movies, I was moved by the idea of a tale of when the Niagara Falls were wild and free, and people could walk up to the banks and still attempt barrel adventures down the cragged falls. This book provided just the whimsy I needed to bask in the early attitudes toward this natural beauty. Tom Cole, able-bodied riverman, is the person I want to be--lover of nature, respector of natural dangers, advocate of the voiceless wilderness, carving a living out of what the river can provide. 

So, why on earth is he attracted to the whiney, spoiled, self-absorbed main character Bess? I never understood it the whole time I was reading. She is vapid and weak-willed, taking on whatever love he has for the river but never understanding it. 

The first half of the book I couldn't put it down for a second. Though I disliked Bess, I loved Tom and reveled in her falling in love with him. The author rushed through all the good parts of their courtship and dragged on and on about things I didn't care about, avoidable tragedies that made no sense and only served to remove the reader from the book's real magic hook-- the wild, wild falls in a time when they were not entirely exploited or cordoned off. 

I was angry that I finished the book and wished the whole thing could have been as captivating as the first 90 pages. It is worth reading for a glimpse into the newness of Niagara Falls and for exploring the part of you that wants to fall in love with a boy scout, but don't look for much more. 
The power and beauty, and yes, nostalgia, of Niagara Falls gives you something to care about.

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