It is 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 Niagara Falls. But when she arrives, nothing is as she had 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, her 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 he 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 power of the falls for themselves. As their 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 novel.
This thoroughly wrought work of engaging historical fiction, based in small part on a true story, tells the tale of Bess Heath, a 17-year-old girl whose family has fallen on hard times, and Tom Cole, a so-called "river man" whose life is bound to the fast-rushing waters of Niagara Falls. With World War I ongoing and the hydroelectric age threatening the natural phenomena which has defined both their lives, Bess and Tom find love and trouble in equal measures, even as everything they've ever known is changing....
Voice actor Karen White brings a startling and compelling vulnerability to her performance of this stirring audiobook, embodying Bess with great emotion and apparent ease, and making this a work not to be missed!
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Loved this book (and even learned something new!)
- Loree Harrell