Fans of Richard Russo, Amor Towles, Sebastian Barry, and Paula McLain will devour this transporting novel about the eternal tug between our duties and our desires, set during in New York City and New England during the Depression and New Deal eras.
It’s 1935, and Desdemona Hart Spaulding has sacrificed her plans to work as an artist in New York to care for her bankrupt, ailing father in Cascade, Massachusetts. When he dies, Dez finds herself caught in a marriage of convenience, bound to the promise she made to save her father’s Shakespeare Theater, even as her town may be flooded to create a reservoir for Boston. When she falls for artist Jacob Solomon, she sees a chance to escape and realize her New York ambitions, but is it morally possible to set herself free?
My Thoughts: If ever there was a book for me this one is it! Set during the depression era in the quiet town of Cascade we meet Dez Spaulding as she struggles with several important life decisions. Should she follow her heart or resign herself to the loveless marriage born of the need for financial security? Should she defy social expectations and follow her dreams of being an artist or sacrifice them in order to preserve the legacy of her father and his beloved Shakespearean Theatre? There are so many points in this novel where I found myself personally identifying with Dez and her dilemmas over doing what is right for her or doing what she thinks would make everyone around her happy.
In addition to the internal struggles experienced by Dez, there are the external ones being experience by the town of Cascade which is threatened with extinction in order to provide Boston with a much needed reservoir. The beginning did start off a little bit slow for me but I loved the voice of the main character enough where it didn’t matter much. Once it gets going, the story that unfolds will suck you right in. I also liked the subtle mystery surrounding what was in the casket her father gave her before he died.
It gave me the same feeling as when I read Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay only I connected better with Dez than I did with the main character in that story. What drew me to this book in the first place was the beautiful cover art but the story delivered as well. Definitely check this out if you are into historical fiction with a bit more depth.
This book was provided to me by the publisher for participation in the author's tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. These are my honest thoughts on the book.
Now for the giveaway! Up for grabs is one paperback copy of Cascade!
Open to: US only
To Enter: Leave your name and email in the comments. One extra entry each for sharing on Facebook/your blog/Twitter.
Ends: Midnight May 24th. Winner will be announced and contacted the 25th.
For more reviews, interviews, guest posts and giveaways with author Maryanne O'Hara you can view the rest of the tour schedule HERE.
View the book trailer: http://www.maryanneohara.com/cascade-trailer/
For more information on Maryanne O’Hara, please visit her website.
You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and GoodReads.