Review: The Falls

The Falls
The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ariah Burnaby is a conundrum. Not just to those around her but to me after hundreds of pages. Rarely have I spent so much time reading about a character and depart at the end feeling that I never got to really know them. Still, I very much enjoyed this book. I kept wanting to understand or see if she'd ever divulge something to explain it all. She didn't. To the end, she was ever Ariah. They sympathy I felt for her in the beginning was stripped away as the story moves along & her children, Chandler, Royall & Juliet come into their own & she is seen through them. I wanted each of the three to get away simply as a mechanism of personal survival. It was compelling reading. I very much wanted to know if any would discover that she was the legendary lady by The Falls waiting for her fallen first husband to be returned by the churning waters. But the mystery of Dirk Burnaby was likely all that could really be handled & that was well done.

This is going to be on my almost favorites list because while I likely won't read it again, it was a great read & will have me reflecting upon its characters for years. Also, I'm a sucker for a Niagara Falls setting. I think this was the first novel I've read of Joyce Carol Oates & I have to say that I very much liked it.

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