Cathy Marie Buchanan's The Day the Falls Stood Still (Voice, Sept.) is more than just a captivating historical novel about Niagara Falls. It is a highly spiritual tale of family, love, loss, class, early environmentalism and the battles fought to make citizens aware of the natural sacrifices made in the name of progress. Buchanan combines storytelling with reportage of a legendary riverman creating a story as mesmerizing as staring at the river as it plunges over the falls. The book opens in 1915 with 17-year-old Bess at a girls' school, fully believing in God and living a life of privilege. As the story progresses, Bess's beliefs are challenged—a traditional sense of morality morphs into an understanding of a gray area as her knowledge of the river's rhythms and ways forces her to assess the world from a different perspective. Readers who love strong female characters and those who appreciate the vicissitudes of history will relish Buchanan's tale.