Booklogged said on her blog A Reader's Journey, "Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan ... is a masterpiece, worthy to be called a classic. Barometer is set in Halifax, Nova Scotia during WWI. The book encompasses only eight days during the first part of December in 1917. There was a wonderful sense of place, so much so that I could feel the damp coldness, picture the overcast grey sky and hear the boats churning in the bay. The pace of the story continues to build towards the real life catastrophic explosion that occurred in the bay and had such a devastating effect on Halifax."
Penelope Wain believes that her lover, Neil Macrae, has been killed while serving overseas under her father. That he died apparently in disgrace does not alter her love for him, even though her father is insistent on his guilt. What neither Penelope or her father knows is that Neil is not dead, but has returned to Halifax to clear his name. Hugh MacLennan’s first novel is a compelling romance set against the horrors of wartime and the catastrophic Halifax Explosion of December 6, 1917.