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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

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

 

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