Welcome to the childhood of Catherine McClure Gildiner. It is the middle of the 1950s in Lewiston, New York, a small and sleepy American town very near Niagara Falls. No one is divorced. Mothers wear high heels to the beauty salon and children pop Pez candy and swing from vines over a local gorge. But at the tender age of four, it becomes clear to her Cathy's parents that their rambunctious daughter is no ordinary child and they soon put her "to work" at her father's pharmacy. Already able to read road maps, she accompanies Roy the deliveryman on his routes. In memories that are by turns hilarious and deeply moving, she shares some of her more fantastic 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, and painfully lonely operator of the town dump.
Shortlisted for Canada's prestigious Trillium Award, Too Close to the Falls is sure to delight fans of smart, honest, and poignant childhood memoirs such as Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life and Mary Karr's The Liars' Club. It is a beautiful portrait of a life so full it is bursting, written through the innocent, yet incredibly worldly eyes of a child.