"The Day The Falls Stood Still" is the story of Bess Heath, a young woman growing up in Niagra Falls in the early 1900's. As we meet Bess, she is one year shy of graduating from Loretto Academy, the boarding school that she has been attending for the majority of her formative years. When her mother comes to pick her up from the school's graduation ceremony, Bess learns that her father has lost his job at the Falls' Hydroelectric company, and she knows that everything is going to change. Her sister has lost her fiance (who doesn't want to be associated with a family falling on hard times), her mother has had to take on odd sewing jobs to keep up with the household bills, and her father has become an alcoholic. Bess takes it all in stride, and by chance she happens to meet Tom Cole, Niagra's own river man.
Despite the fact that Tom Cole is not the type of man that her family wants Bess to marry, she secretly courts him anyways, and not long after their meeting, the two are married. Tom goes off to fight in the war and when he returns nothing will be the same: not for the Cole family, and not for Niagra Falls.
Tantalizingly based on actual facts, this novel is part fictional love story and part fascinating Niagra Falls history. Despite the fact that I grew up approximately an hour away from the Falls, and visited it many times growing up, I had no idea of the history and folklore surrounding this great display of rushing water. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Bess and Tom, I equally enjoyed finding out things that I didn't know about Niagra Falls. This book is accompanied by fascinating historical photos the Falls, and I was constantly nudging my husband to show him the pictures or to share a new fact.
Be sure to stop by tomorrow as Cathy Marie Buchanan stops by to answer a few questions as part of her blog tour! There will also be an opportunity to win a copy of this must-read novel.