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Review: After the Falls

November 11, 2010

When Catherine Gildiner was 12 years old, her family moved from the only home she’d ever known.  She suddenly found herself removed from Niagara Falls and the community and the large, old house she loved and plopped down in a small house in a suburb of Buffalo.  In the past, Cathy and her father have had a close relationship while her mother has kind of kept her distance.  Between her anger at moving and the need to try to fit in, Cathy tries to keep her father at arm’s length too.

Cathy’s latest memoir After the Falls: Coming of Age in the Sixties, tells the story of her life from the age of twelve to shortly after college, and what a story it is!  Cathy’s family was not the typical American family in the 1960’s, but that’s what makes them so interesting.  It certainly made for a unique, but not necessarily bad, childhood.  I found Gildiner’s writing to be engrossing and I loved the way she explored the relationships in her life.

Cathy turned twelve in 1960, so the book chronicles her life as well as a turbulent period in our country’s history.  Cathy wasn’t as radical as some, but she was still an advocate for change and worked hard to try to achieve it.  It was almost like she straddled the line between two different worlds.  Along the way, she met some interesting characters and found herself in some precarious situations.

There was something about After the Falls that just fascinated me and I didn’t want to put the book down while I was reading it.  I’d like to go back and read her first memoir – Too Close to the Falls – so I can learn about the first twelve years of her life.  If you like memoirs or are interested in the sixties, I think you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did.  Be sure to come back tomorrow for an interview with the author and a giveaway.

Review copy provided by Diane Saarinen.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
30 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2010 6:57 am

    This is a new one to me Kathy, but it does sound good. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  2. November 11, 2010 7:46 am

    Does she write other books as well, or it is just memoirs?

  3. November 11, 2010 8:20 am

    Ha ha, I saw the second sentence and thought, what is she doing up north?!!! :–)

  4. November 11, 2010 8:39 am

    I also hadn’t yet heard of this book, but if it kept you turning the pages, it’s likely that I would love it as well. The 60’s were such an interesting time in America, and I would love to read a memoir centered around them. This was a great review because I could really catch your enthusiasm for this book. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  5. November 11, 2010 9:51 am

    As a child of the 50s who was timidly “hippy” in the 60s, I really must read this one. She sounds so sensible in her process of looking back to what are traumatic years for many of us.

  6. November 11, 2010 9:52 am

    Thanks for this great review Kathy.
    I am a little younger than the author, but I had two older brothers, one of whom got a draft number, so the 60’s remain an interesting time period for me to read about.

  7. November 11, 2010 10:08 am

    I had heard this title but knew nothing about the book. Thanks for the review, I look forward to the interview.

  8. November 11, 2010 10:41 am

    I think this sounds like a memoir I would really enjoy. However, as I have not read the first one do you recommend reading that first or is this a good stand alone book?

    • November 11, 2010 10:50 am

      I haven’t read her first memoir and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The author did a good job of filling in details from the past when necessary.

  9. November 11, 2010 10:42 am

    This sounds really interesting!

  10. November 11, 2010 11:59 am

    This looks like a good read. I love memoirs, and am always interested in learning more about the era when my parents grew up.

  11. November 11, 2010 12:00 pm

    Well I do love memoirs and biographies, and after listening to her talk, boy do I like this woman! Everything she says is so true. In fact, I sat here for a few minutes imagining if I had to talk about my relationships as a teenager. I don’t even speak of them around my parents. So embarrassing. I’m going to have to read her books.

  12. November 11, 2010 12:24 pm

    I don’t usually read non-fiction but this does sound fascinating. Thanks for the review!

  13. November 11, 2010 1:09 pm

    Great review. I have this one and it sounds terrific!

  14. Beth Hoffman permalink
    November 11, 2010 2:13 pm

    Terrific review Kathy! I’ll be my tomorrow to read the interview too.

  15. November 11, 2010 2:19 pm

    I’ve been reading my share of memoirs lately and think I would enjoy this one. Being a child of the 60’s I would relate to things in the book.

  16. November 11, 2010 2:39 pm

    Thanks! for sharing this, will have to look into this one.

  17. November 11, 2010 4:03 pm

    Nice review, sounds great, though not that big on real life stories

  18. November 11, 2010 5:02 pm

    Terrific review, Kathy. Her book sounds excellent. I had some problems playing the video but was able to hear most of it.

  19. November 11, 2010 5:44 pm

    Great review, and this does sound like an interesting read. The memoirs I’ve read recently don’t fit into the ’60s that much, so I’m going to have to check this one out!

  20. November 11, 2010 7:14 pm

    I haven’t heard of Catherine Gildiner until now and this is one of the things I love about blogging. Thank you for bringing her and her memoir to my attention. 🙂

  21. November 11, 2010 11:14 pm

    I love memoirs and books based on the 60’s. This sounds like another one that I would enjoy. Thanks for the review.

  22. givingreadingachance permalink
    November 12, 2010 3:52 am

    Wow, sounds good. I have never had interest in any time period in particular, but i need to read more period-based books to see that.

    Looking for ward to the interview.

  23. November 12, 2010 10:55 am

    New author for me and a time period I’m interested in reading about.

  24. November 12, 2010 2:46 pm

    i love reading memoirs, but i’ve never heard of this book before. sounds fascinating!

  25. November 12, 2010 7:27 pm

    This one sounds like an interesting memoir!!

  26. November 12, 2010 8:11 pm

    How neat that you were able to have the interview with her after reading the book. Great job on both!

  27. November 13, 2010 2:41 pm

    Great to hear you enjoyed this memoir. Off I go to read the interview now.

  28. November 13, 2010 5:18 pm

    I liked meeting the author via the interview. She is so honest about herself. I want to read this one. Looks good.

  29. November 16, 2010 2:32 pm

    This one looks great! I want to read it. Am “starring” your review in my reader. 🙂

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