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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Review: Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara

CascadeMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary via Goodreads:

During the 1930s, a conflicted new wife seeks to reconcile her heart’s ambitions with binding promises she has made

1935: Desdemona Hart Spaulding was an up-and-coming Boston artist when she married in haste and settled in the small, once-fashionable theater town of Cascade to provide a home for her dying father. Now Cascade is on the short list to be flooded to provide water for Boston, and Dez’s discontent is complicated by her growing attraction to a fellow artist. When tragic events unfold, Dez is forced to make difficult choices. Must she keep her promises? Is it morally possible to set herself free?

Cascade is an interesting, well-told look at the life of a woman artist from 1934-1947. It’s a glimpse into America of that era, a nation that is changing in many ways.

It is about a small town, and the need to escape that life. It’s about big choices, and the big choices other people make, and the ones you think you can change, and the ones you have no influence over.

It is about all kinds of people. The main thing they have in common is that they have strengths and they have flaws. All were interesting and real, although Dez’s husband Asa was a little too close to a stereotypical man of his time. Most of the others went outside that mold in ways good and bad.

This book was suggested to me as a romance, but I don’t think that’s where I’d put it. This is historical fiction, and the story of a woman. Her life is shaped by love, although I’d say that love for her father is an even stronger force than the romantic love she also deals with for part of the book.

The other thing that I didn’t expect coming into this book was the look into what it means to be an artist. Getting Dez’s way of seeing the world, seeing what she saw as the difference between her commercial work and her “real” work, and seeing some of how the art scene functioned, all of these were interesting to me.  I also enjoyed the variety of Shakespearean ties woven into the story.

This was a book that kept me reading, more for the people and places than plot, but I really wanted to know more, so overall, I’d call the book a success.

I read this book as part of a TLC Book Tour.  To find out more about the author, check out her website, blog, and Facebook page.  To see other opinions on the book look at the other tour stops:

TLC Book Tours

 
5 Comments

Posted by on December 19, 2012 in books, reviews, tour

 

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November update

Calendar-November2

November is a month for being thankful, and I have a lot to be thankful for– my family, health that may not be perfect, but could  be much worse, a stable life, and lots of time to read. I’m also thankful for on-line friends and kittens I can watch over the Internet.

I did get quite a bit of reading done in November, although perhaps not quite as much as the book count suggests– there are some very short books in there!

I realized one of the reasons that I haven’t been reading as many print books is that I’m getting older, and my eyes are having trouble at times with the print in books.  Getting a second pair of reading glasses, so that one stays in my purse and one stays by my bed, has helped a lot with that.

So, on to the books read:

Paper books

  1. Double-Booked for Death (Black Cat Bookshop Mystery #1) by Ali Brandon
  2. Elegy for Eddie (Maisie Dobbs #9) by Jacqueline Winspear
  3. What the Zhang Boys Know by Clifford Garstang

Nook books

  1. A Novel Way to Die (Black Cat Bookshop Mystery #2) by Ali Brandon
  2. Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs #6) by Jacqueline Winspear

Audio books

  1. How It All Began by Penelope Lively
  2. The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University by Kevin Roose
  3. Tonight I Said Goodbye (Lincoln Perry #1) by Michael Koryta
  4. Shadow Puppets (Shadow Saga #3) by Orson Scott Card
  5. Black River by Dean Koontz
  6. Son (The Giver Quartet #4) by Lois Lowry
  7. Messenger (The Giver Quartet #3) by Lois Lowry
  8. Gathering Blue (The Giver Quartet #2) by Lois Lowry
  9. The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) by Lois Lowry
  10. Redwood Bend (Virgin River #18) by Robyn Carr
  11. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

This brings my yearly totals to 145 books read: 38 paper books, 23 Nook books, and 84 audio books.  There shouldn’t be a problem reaching to 150 for the year :-).

The best books of the month were Between Shades of Gray and How It All Began, followed by Elegy for Eddie.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 2, 2012 in books, summary

 

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