Cover Image: 'Til Niagara Falls

'Til Niagara Falls

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Member Reviews

3.5

This was a short book that I found by chance on NetGalley. Right away the title grabbed me. My family and I love Niagara Falls and as we live in Southern Ontario we have travelled there many times. Now that our restrictions have finally started to loosen and it is summer time we are making plans to once again go to, "The Falls." What better way to get excited about it than reading this book....or watching one of my favourite old movies, Niagara with Marilyn Monroe (but that's for another time.) 😉

This is a fictionalized historical account of the first person who ever went over the Horseshoe Falls (Canadian side) in a barrel and survived. Yikes! Yes, people actually did that! The first person was amazingly a woman named Annie Edson Taylor. She did so in 1901 at the age of 63! The specially made barrel was made out of oak and iron and was padded with a mattress. She also had air compressed in it with a bicycle pump. Still, no one at this point had ever survived this!

The story is fictionally told but had many factual points. What desperate circumstances could possibly posses a person to go over The Falls in a barrel??!! I won't tell you Annie's story as you should read it for yourself. 

I quite enjoyed the story. It did have the right amount of nostalgia and it was easy to depict the excitement around The Falls in that era. The only drawback was there were a few different characters and the chapters bounced back and forth between them and sometimes it was hard to keep track of who was who. For the most part the story had me anxiously awaiting her trip down The Falls. I admit as she was barrelling down I was holding my breath and my eyes did water when they finally opened the barrel. A good debut novel. 🛢💦

I'd like to kindly thank NetGalley and Po84 Productions for granting me access to this Advanced Reader Copy.
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Until this book, I had never heard the name Annie Edson Taylor. I loved reading about her in this historical fiction story. The plot is very good but the historical facts are present.  I think the author did a beautiful job of bringing her tale to light.  
Many thanks to Po84 Productions and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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this was a really unique premise, I found Annie as an amazing character and really felt for her. I enjoyed the story and getting to know Annie. I look forward to more from Ms. Morin.
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I love stories like this! It was such a fun read and I hope to be able to read more by this author!!
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Annie Edson Taylor. Does this name mean anything to you? Have you ever heard of her? 

I hadn't. But after reading 'TIL NIAGARA FALLS, I can guarantee that I will never remember her from this day forward.  

I live in Ontario, Canada and have visited the city of Niagara Falls more than fifty times over the years. Yet, somehow the fascinating tale of retired schoolteacher Annie Edson Taylor had never reached my ears. It makes me wonder if Annie had been a man, would I have heard the story? Sadly, I believe the answer to that question is a yes. 

Although this is a fictionalized version of her story, the key facts are historically accurate. 

Annie was unique. She was not the "typical" woman of her era. Firstly, she was educated in many subjects including mathematics and the sciences which were often seen as the realm of men. She was a retired schoolteacher with a keen mind and she exceptionally good at physics and engineering. 

Annie was as unlike the daredevils who preceded her in attempting to survive going over the Falls in a barrel, as night is to day. She applied everything she had learned into figuring out a way she could (hopefully) survive the "Fall." 

The author has included many wonderfully colorful characters into the story, many of whom were based on real people. 

This story has everything readers could possibly hope for in a work of historical fiction right down to historically accurate descriptions of outfits of the era and the attitudes as to what was "proper" at the time. 

If you have ever been to Niagara Falls, or have even just seen the Falls in photographs, I highly doubt any one of us would ever consider going over that massive waterfall, even with the best safety gear available. To think of the complete lack of availability of safety equipment in 1901, it is little wonder that many people perished in that swirling maelstrom of water. Annie was one very brave and very determined woman and I salute her. 

You should pick up a copy of this book at your first opportunity. It is a heart-pumping, thrill ride of a read and you will find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat thanks to the non-stop action.  

I have no choice but to rate 'TIL NIAGARA FALLS as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ It deserves nothing less. 

*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book ***  
http://bit.ly/TilNiagaraFalls
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An interesting historical fiction story of Annie Taylor, the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive. Told from Annie's pov as well as others it is a tribute to an amazingly courageous woman. Even though I have been to the area countless times, the story still had me googling some things. Thank you NetGalley for the e-arc.
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Why is a retired schoolteacher living off $20 stolen from the train cushions on the Santa Fe Line bound for Michigan? "...a man on horseback, his face concealed by a black bandana, his rifle leveled at the windows of the passenger car...we are being robbed...The bandit says, 'School m'arms and spinsters always hide their money in their petticoats...slashes at the calico of my dress...". A roll of bills falls out, everything scrimped and saved, an entire pension lost. A new retirement plan was needed to keep Annie Edson Taylor from a life of cold boarding house living. "Fifty cents a week for room and board. Coal is extra. Stove's in the corner...You keep as warm as you can afford".

Annie knows she must begin again. To carnival women staying in the boarding house, Annie is "the melodrama unfolding of a respectable woman sliding into disrepute". They suggest the unthinkable...the impossible. "Miss Annie could do something spectacular and still be respectable. Courage is a virtue...You would need to find just one hour of courage. Then for the rest of your life you could just talk about your amazing adventure...the un-fathomable...unbelievable feat! Get an agent, sell tickets...". The year was 1901. The Pan-American Exposition would be in Buffalo, New York from May to November. People would pay a pretty penny to hear a story of the survival of a woman conquering Niagara Falls in a Pickle Barrel.

Sixty-three year old Annie Edson Taylor was a teacher with a "remarkable head for physical science...I sketch out the height of Niagara Falls, the speed of the current, the weight of the water...". Approaching cooper Ivan Rozenski of Saginaw, Michigan, with template in hand, she requests a custom made barrel. "We need Kentucky oak, it makes the strongest staves".

" 'Til Niagara Falls" by Katerine Morin is an historical fiction rendering of the true story of Annie Edson Taylor, the first woman to go over Horseshoe Falls. In a cushion-lined, airtight, modified pickle barrel, air compressed with a bicycle pump and with an anvil for ballast she would "fall" on her birthday, October 24, 1901. Annie is in the spotlight, however, there are many players involved in this feat...the agent...the bodyguard...the bookmakers- a bet for success or one for Annie's demise and the newsmen who would "tout" her success or "spin" her failure. The characters would have appeared more fascinating had there been a clearer delineation between their voices. This is a history through fiction read I highly recommend.

Thank you Po84 Productions and Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I loved the historical facts of Annie Edson Taylor and her journey leading her to want to take on the famous deadly Niagara Falls! Many people have tried to ride the treacherous water paths, but it has only lead to a watery grave! That fact does not daunt Annie at all! She is determined to be the first woman to go over the falls and live! 

However, there are many factions of people who are going to place many obstacles in her path! She is going to need to find help and for that, but also someone who understands the falls themselves!

The author has a great storyline, but it is challenging at times to keep up with who is saying what at times in the writing style and this makes the book choppy. I think the flow was not there and it lost cohesive parts where the robbery could have been expanded more or the river man part could have been more pop. I loved the Niagara Falls historical information because I have been there in every season plus more during the spring season!  

I received an advanced copy from NetGalley and these are my willingly given thoughts and opinions.
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This book is based on a true story of Annie Edison Taylor.  In 1901 Annie was on a train to New York  having just retired from teaching school she was in possession of her pension when the train was robbed.  Not knowing what else to do she decided to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.  She knew if she lived it would bring her enough money to retire on.  
This was a very interesting book with a lot of unique history about the falls.

Thank you Net Galley for allowing me to read this informative and entertaining book for my honest opinion.
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