Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara



What would you be willing to sacrifice to be who you want to be?

When Desdemona was at the peak of her breakthrough as an artist in 1935, she made a hasty decision to marry Asa Spaulding, a solid and stable man, and make a home in the town of Cascade to be there for her bankrupt father whose health is quickly failing.  While Desdemona felt in her head this was the right decision for the circumstances, her heart strongly disagreed.

And who’s head has not been overrun by their hearts wants?

With Cascade being considered to be flooded to provide water for Boston, Desdemona is even more restless with her decisions.  When she becomes attracted to a fellow artist Jacob who provides her with everything her husband can not, she knows it is time to make the hard choices that hopefully can correct the wrong ones she made in her past.

But at what cost?  Is it possible to turn away from a choice without causing further damage?  And even as she contemplates a brighter future, would she be able to live with herself for doing so?

Cascade, Massachusetts

First.  Let’s take a pause for this beautiful cover.  Cover love at its finest, cover alone would cause me to pick up this book wanting to know more, and honestly… it did factor in on my choice to read this book.

While set against the backdrop of the Depression and WWII, Cascade (thankfully) focuses more around Desdemona and her relationships with the men in her life and the decisions she must make.  While beautifully written, Cascade is not for the person looking for a quick read.  It takes times to absorb this slower paced detail oriented book.  You really get the feeling you are brought fully into the world that is Cascade.

For me, the book was good but the slower pace was a deterrent.  Perhaps it was the time of year that I chose to read this that made it more of a struggle for me.  Desdemona is not the most likable character, her choices… well, if you read it you will see. Cascade, in my opinion, is a book to take your time with, to read over several sittings and contemplate what would you do put in a similar situation?

Well written, filled with historical facts that will make you think and learn, and those are always pluses for me.


Thank you TLC Book Tours for giving me a little history

along with a good read that made me think.

12 Comments on “Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara

  1. I won this book from the author, and it’s next up in my to-read pile.

    • I read this. Here’s what I think

      CASCADE would be perfect for the reader who likes well-written romances that are far and away better than most books called romances. CASCADE has a story that does not depend on descriptions of sexual gymnastics.

      Still, I wanted again and again to skip through paragraphs and pages. A couple times I even considered giving up on the book entirely. That is because the author makes the common mistake–“too much rumination.”

      The main character, Dez (Desdemona Hart), thinks, at length, too much. If the purpose of a novel is to capture and hold a reader’s attention, to entertain them, CASCADE wanders from that intention too often with excessive narration.

      I believe that is the reason one reviewer said she could not finish this book. She thinks the reason is Dez. She thinks that Dez is too unlikeable to care about.

      But who says a reader has to like a main character for a book to be a success? Granted, Dez is detestable. She marries a good-looking successful pharmacist, Asa, just so she and her father have a home. At her every mean and selfish act, Asa forgives, even goes out of his way to be kind. How could she not love someone like that? Instead, she chases after another man, one she continues to love for years and years.

      Don’t think that this storyline goes the way of GONE WITH THE WIND. But it would have been nice to see Asa tell Dez that he no longer gives a damn.

  2. I listened to the audio and wasn’t crazy about the narrator but I did enjoy the story.

  3. I love that time frame so I’d love to see what historical details the author included.

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  4. Hi Sheila,

    Thanks for your review, and for being on my blog tour. We writers really appreciate how you bloggers help spread the word about our books. I’m glad CASCADE connected with you. It’s been interesting to hear the variety of responses to my book, to my characters.

    For those of you will read it, thank you! I hope you enjoy.

    Happy new year to all.

    Maryanne OHara

  5. After reading this I added Cascade to my list of ‘must’ reads for 2013. Thanks!

  6. Pingback: Maryanne O’Hara, author of Cascade, on tour December 2012 | TLC Book Tours

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