Publisher's Weekly Review
Readers who met Cathy McClure Gildiner in her memoirs Too Close to the Falls and After the Falls will be thrilled to have another opportunity to follow her life in the third and final installment. She’s a gifted writer with a stunning memory for detail. Here, Gildiner describes her experiences in the late 1960s and early ’70s, a time when she studied at Oxford University, taught high school in Cleveland, and relocated to Canada to study literature at the University of Toronto. Tenacious, outspoken, and intelligent, Gildiner was a magnet for adventure. While in the U.K., she hiked down Welsh mountains in the darkness and dined among the country’s wealthiest. As a teacher in Cleveland, she worked to inspire a love of poetry in kids whom the rest of society appeared to have given up on. In Canada, she inadvertently found herself sharing living quarters first with Quebec separatists and later with one of the country’s biggest drug dealers. Gildiner depicts herself as a hard-headed, risk-taking young woman who spoke her mind and fully embraced life. For readers, following that life is an irresistible roller-coaster ride full of humor, wise insights, and poignant reflections. (Oct.)
After the Falls
Publisher's Weekly Review
At age 12, Gildiner and her family moved from their Niagara Falls home to a Buffalo suburb, leaving behind a family business, smalltown contentment, and the rebellious childhood chronicled in her first memoir, Too Close to the Falls. While her uprooted parents struggle to adjust, Gildiner stumbles in making new friends and edging into puberty. Her restlessness and a fundamentally outspoken and argumentative nature regularly catapult her further than simple teenage trouble, and she frequently fails at the standard American girlhood, often with comic results. The conflicts between the narrator's individuality and conformity propel her into her first relationship at the same time that the seismic shifts in American society, culture, and politics hit home with ever-increasing force. On the page as in life, comedy, tragedy, and elegy live right on top of each other, and as with most remarkable memoirs, the straightforward, honest voice and perspective are steady even in the most painful moments. (November 2010)
Too Close to the Falls
Globe and Mail Review
Although Catherine Gildiner didn't grow up dirt-poor in Ireland, or communing with gophers on the Depression-era Prairie, her tale of life as an eccentric, middle-class Catholic school girl in 1950s Lewiston, N.Y., is no less memorably and skillfully told than [Angela's Ashes and Who Has Seen the Wind?].… a revealing and vivid portrait of small-town America around the 1950s.… Anyone who ever was, or has, a child considered different in some way will enjoy this book. The author is among those who has survived the funny, sad, hard knocks of butting childhood ideals up against the real world, of painfully seeing through, and losing faith in, the rote pieties of religious indoctrination, and the hypocrisies of small-town respectability, 1950s-style. The author's maturity, her ability to forgive rather than blame, informs this book and is the ultimate gift to the reader.
The Montreal Gazette Review
Seduction is a fast-paced modern novel filled with snappy dialogue, exotic settings and juicy intellectual plums, somewhat in the manner of The Da Vinci Code. It, too, is a long novel, but then shouldn't seduction be a long, exciting process?