Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildiner

Too Close to the Falls by Catherine GildinerCatherine Gildiner has written a delightful memoir about her unconventional childhood in Lewiston New York. The book is brimming with wonderful, eccentric characters and funny moments. Four-year-old Catherine suffers from a surplus of energy (which today would be called attention deficit disorder), and is under doctors orders to burn it off. She is put to work at the family drug store delivering prescriptions with the warmhearted Roy. They are a great partnership; Catherine reads the labels while Roy drives the delivery van and teaches her that you can get all your work done, and still have a little fun.

What the Armchair Critics Thought:
We all loved this book, especially the portrayal of Catherine’s strong mother, who never made a home-cooked meal in the conventional 1950s – yet held frequent adult conversations with her daughter and taught her a great deal about self reliance. We discussed memory, and how it fades and changes over time and we marveled at the detail which authors like Gildiner can call up in their memoirs. We also enjoyed the local setting of the book, especially the weather references! We’ll never read Gildiner’s advice column in Chatelaine Magazine without picturing the plucky little girl with the cowgirl hat.

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