Too Close to the Falls

Too Close to the Falls

Book - 2001
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Welcome to the childhood of Catherine McClure Gildiner. It is the mid-1950s in Lewiston, New York, a sleepy town near Niagara Falls. Divorce is unheard of, mothers wear high heels to the beauty salon, and television has only just arrived.

At the tender age of four, Cathy accompanies Roy, the deliveryman at her father's pharmacy, on his routes. She shares some of their memorable deliveries-sleeping pills to Marilyn Monroe (in town filming Niagara), sedatives to Mad Bear, a violent Tuscarora chief, and fungus cream to Warty, the gentle operator of the town dump. As she reaches her teenage years, Cathy's irrepressible spirit spurs her from dangerous sled rides that take her "too close to the Falls" to tipsy dances with the town priest.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2001
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780142000403
Characteristics: 354 p. : ill. ; 23 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 05, 2015

'What this child needs is a job', prescribes the pediatrician. This is how, at age four, the spirited author becomes assistant to the delivery man at her father's pharmacy. This brilliantly told, often hilarious memoir describes a thoroughly unconventional childhood in upper New York state in the 50's. A delight to read.

Funny, poignant story of a smart but somewhat self-raised 4-6 year old at a time when ADD was not a diagnosis and parents listened to teachers/ priest and doctors as a voice of ultimate authority. I would have skipped the last chapter, when she was age 15 and almost seduced by a selfcentred young priest. After such a great story, it left a sadness at the end of her story and a pall on the whole novel.Nevertheless it is the last chapter which gives the book its title so the author was telling me something else about her childhood. I will certainly read this author again.

Oct 28, 2011

J'ai lu seulement le 1er chapitre que j,ai bein aimé. Le 2e... je n'ai pas aimé. Feuilleté le reste.... sans intérêt pour moi.

Dec 16, 2010

Book Club - Mar. 2010

Nov 24, 2010

I loved the book. Catherine Gildiner has a hilarious way of telling how she was brought up. The way she describes Roy, her "partner in crime" is very skilfull. She does this description without giving too much information to the reader; but, the reader can easily guess the background of the character. Lots of metaphors are referred to the point. Even the name of the book is one big metaphor. At the very beginning, I felt little self-indulgence as in most of the memoirs. Other than it was fun to read.

Sep 21, 2010

You will fall in love with this character... It's hard not to... She is a precious little girl with, what seems to be, an enviable life... Until you start to get deeper and deeper into the story. An amazing piece of work by a very talented author... And there's a follow up... 'After the Falls'... And it gets better... She's working on a third and final book, to be released next year. I can't wait!

Nov 15, 2009

Perhaps one of the funniest, and wittiest books I've read in a while. Told from the perspective of a Catherine growing up in small town Lewiston in the 1950s - a precocious intelligent child that has many questions and a very unique view of the world. A must read.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at WCLS

To Top