~DOWNLOAD EBOOK ♋ Cascade ☩ A Novel Of Art And Desire In The SWhat Would You Give Up To Become The Person You Knew You Were Meant To Be It S , And Dez 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, An Especially Difficult Feat Since The Town Faces Almost Certain Flooding To Create A Reservoir When She Falls For Fellow Artist And Kindred Spirit Jacob Solomon, She Sees A Chance To Escape With Him And Realize Her New York Ambitions, But Her Decisions Will Have Bitter And Unexpected ConsequencesFans Of Richard Russo, Amor Towles, Sebastian Barry, And Paula McLain Will Savor This Transporting Novel About The Eternal Tug Between Our Duties And Our Desires, Set In New York City And New England During The Uncertain, Tumultuous S
There is so much going on in this novel, it s hard to know where to begin to talk about it It s about a woman who believes in her art and isn t willing to bow to the will of a man It s about art and its power to communicate It s about love, and how it doesn t always conquer all It s about what endures including Shakespeare A very enjoyable read, with a protagonist flawed though she is you can cheer for. It is 1934 in Cascade, Massachusetts, a small town in the western part of the state Picturesque, bucolic, it was once a thriving summer vacation spot, with a gorgeous Shakespearean theater managed by the big hearted, passionate William Hart Then the crash happened, the Depression hit, and like everywhere in the U.S., Cascade started going through hard times.For Desdemona Hart Spaulding, talented daughter of William, her sacrifice to survive came in exchange for her happiness An artist who trained in Boston and New York City, she married Cascade native Asa Spaulding, a mild pharmacist who wanted nothing than to settle down and have many babies Dez, afraid for her ailing father and his now shuttered theater, married in hopes of saving what she could her remaining family only to lose that two months later Against that bitter loss came additional heartbreak that Cascade was in competition with another small town to be leveled for a reservoir Just when things couldn t possibly make Dez s life agonizing, she meets Jacob Solomon, a Jewish artist who evokes in her deep passion and reminds her of the life she once thought she d live.This is the novel s opening we learn all this in the first few chapters This gutting, beautiful, emotional setting spills into a story far complicated and rich than I initially thought I anticipated a historical novel with a love triangle and there is that, the history, and the triangle, but there s , too There s the conflict of obligation to one s self, one s family, one s reputation, one s hometown the very real march of progress and of war In small town Cascade, one s reputation is a major currency, and Dez, Asa, and Jacob all feel the brunt of their town s changing and shifting opinion of them.There s tragedy and betrayal and romance on a Shakespearean scale, and Dez is a complicated, maddening, honorable, childish, and beautiful heroine I liked her and felt angry with her in equal part, but O Hara wrote Dez so well that even when I wanted to shake her, I still wanted to hug her I appreciated where her choices came from I felt like I really knew her This is a historical novel of place a small town during the Depression, a beloved landmark in danger of destruction and a romance star crossed lovers as well as a snapshot of wartime America in the 30s and 40s national prejudices, fears, patriotism, the New Deal O Hara s writing is beautiful simple and sparse, but not thin and I lingered over this novel because I was so unwilling for it to end This is O Hara s first novel and it has ensured I am going to be a slavish fangirl of hers. To be very honest, When I began reading this novel, I was actually rather bored The first chapter certainly didn t grab me and thrill me any and it was kind of slow plodding along for a while after that I didn t dislike it at all and the writing is good, but there wasn t much excitement at first As the story progressed, I had trouble finding a character that I could identify with, but as time went on, I grew to like this book The plot, although the pacing is slower,is interesting and unlike other books I have read I enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the town and the desires of the residents to fight the government that threatened to change life as they knew it While I wouldn t say this novel is for everyone, if you are the thoughtful type that enjoys pensive stories where you can put yourself in the place of the characters and examine how they feel, then you may just find out you love this book With me, my enjoyment of this book was eventual By the end of reading it, I was happy that I had done so I was about halfway through before I understood the point and began to settle in The language is at times a bit formal and has a stiffer feel I would call this of a bare bones type of book The author does not waste page after page with extra description and the dialogue reflects this I would recommend this book to those who enjoy literature that is on the outside of the mainstream It s different than I expected, but that is also what made me like it in the end This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher. Cascade caught my attention when Aubra of Unabridged Chick wrote a glowing review of the novel Of course, the incredibly gorgeous cover does not hurt either My tastes do not align with Aubra s all of the time, but, when she raves about a novel, my interest perks Thus, when I had the opportunity to get onto a tour for Cascade, I jumped for it Though I did not get quite as swept up into the flow of Cascade, I did love its simple beauty and pitch perfect portrayal of the the time period.Though set during the 1930s and 1940s, Cascade does not focus on the traditional subject matter of the Great Depression or WWII Both affect Desdemona s life, but only indirectly The foundation of the book focuses on Desdemona s relationship with her father and his Shakespearean theater Their relationship was a close one, and she would do anything for him, even sacrifice her own quality of life When the theater had to close due to monetary concerns in the economic downturn, Desdemona wed a persistent, fairly well off suitor, Asa Spaulding, so that she and her father could have somewhere to live without having to sell the theater Her father passes not long after, asking Desdemona to swear that she will reopen the theater.While the business with the theater frames the plot, the real crux of the matter is Desdemona s desires and the way they contrast with society s expectations for her Her husband expects her to birth his children and iron his shirts Her dad has made her promise to put the theater first, and,unfortunately, has given it legally to Asa as a dowry of sorts, tying her to his fate What Des really wants is to live by her art, and to do so with Jacob, a fellow artist Though Asa is a nice man, he and Des do not share interests or dreams.Love triangles and infidelity are not plot lines that I generally prefer, but Maryanne O Hara parallels Desdemona s romantic life with her professional life She cannot be everything at once or please everyone To be an independent woman in that era, a woman had to make certain sacrifices Though Des didn t always make what I deem the right choices, she does take responsibility for her own life She does not mope or live regretfully she tries, even when she knows she probably shouldn t.O Hara s depictions of both the small town of Cascade and the city of New York shine with authenticity Even the pace of the story matches the different settings, with the parts of the book set in Cascade flowing by slowly and calmly, while New York passes by in a swift, almost confusing blur More details in the New York section might have left me a bit satisfied with the way the novel ended, but, from a compositional standpoint, it is brilliant.While beautifully done, Cascade is a slow read The pages did not fly by, particularly towards the beginning If you like a fast pace, you will likely struggle Once Des began to spread her metaphorical wings and stop living in the shadow of society s expectations, the novel really picked up speed The focus here lies on mood, setting, art than on any sort of action.Cascade will delight readers who appreciate lush writing and atmosphere Though slow, Cascade certainly is worth pushing through for those who appreciate historical fiction with a unique viewpoint. In the Boston suburb of Cascade in 1935, Desdemona Hart Spaulding has put off her art career in New York to care for her dying father, and in the process, has married a steady local man to rest her father s concerns about her own well being, and to resurrect the theater in town, to which her father has devoted his life.When her father dies, not only has she realized the terrible error of her marriage, but she learns that the town of Cascade is in the running to be destroyed so that it can become a reservoir for Boston Desdemona does not wish to hurt her husband, but her deepest desire is to have freedom from the marriage to pursue a career in art, and a relationship with a Jewish painter with whom she has fallen in love As the town faces increasing pressure and the knowledge that its demise is imminent, Dez becomes entangled in a web of her own desires and mistakes that take on catastrophic consequences.With its doomed lovers and condemned town, CASCADE, reads like the kind of Shakespearean drama that would have been performed on the wooden planks of Dez s father s theater O Hara does an admirable job portraying a woman conflicted about her choices, but unwilling to compromise on her dreams I found myself wanting to physically hold Dez back or warn her from walking into bad decisions, but that is what made the novel so compelling I was also satisfied with the denouement, when Desdemona reaches full maturity and demonstrates her growth.O Hara skillfully weaves Desdemona s creative process through the emotional tapestry of the novel, and her prose is exquisite This book is a perfect balance of literary fiction with a compelling plot, and would make an excellent book club selection I can envision a lively debate about Dez s choices with some siding with her or standing firmly against her Dez is a complex heroine and one of the most real I ve read in recent memory, and I won t soon forget her.Unlike the town, the novel CASCADE will be timeless because of O Hara s storytelling I highlighted passage after passage of the beautiful language, and I want to reread the novel to hunt for the Shakespearean references I know are there If you are a fan of historical fiction that deals with complex relationships and thematic layers, I recommend that you read this book I give CASCADE my highest endorsement. This is, by far, one of my favorite books this year What a fabulous debut from Maryanne O Hara What s not to love I was immediately hooked by the first lyrical sentences, the Shakespearean references and parallels, the 1930s historical backdrop of the Depression, WWII, the Dust Bowl events ripe with tension and conflict And, of course, I was pulled in by the central thread of this fictional tale a town is threatened to be flooded and turned into a reservoir to make way for the water needs of a growing Boston based on the true story of Quabbin reservoir in the late 30s Themes and images of drowning the possibility of the physical drowning of a town and the metaphorical drowning of Dez, an artist who struggles to conform to society s mold are so well done I just can t say enough.This is a story of a woman struggling with her own wants and desires, set against the conflicting desire to honor her father and the town she loved It s a story that draws moral questions about allegiance to self versus community, but it s also part love story, a tale of despair and hope, an illumination of political manipulation in the 30s, a study of the budding art community in the United States, a portrait of bigotry, gender bias and anti Semitism.The characters actions and their often faulty decisions ebb and flow like the water coursing through the river along the town of Cascade, sometimes crashing and churning to impossible outcomes The pacing of this story is simply incredible Layered with their own secrets and deception, the characters are faced with personal and public moral decisions that make this an unforgettable read.This is the perfect book club choice, because of the depth of conversation it elicits I highly recommend CASCADE to anyone who enjoys literary fiction, historical fiction, and just a plain unputdownable story.In the end, I think CASCADE is about leaving our mark in the world What is permanence, the book asks We people take up space and then when we re gone, there s just space left But it s also a story about finding contentedness in life This was a First Reads win, and I am so grateful to have won it Cascade certainly provides a lot to think about, and is one of the rare books that inspires me to dig into the real life events behind the fiction.There are so many plots and themes seamlessly woven into a beautiful narrative The obliteration of a town to create a reservoir A marriage of convenience with a man who doesn t understand you, then passion and adultery with a man who does Small town dissatisfaction, big city disillusionment The role of art, the place of women, fate and free will Even Shakespeare and the First Folio are important plot lines I brought the book with me to China, where I m temporarily based, and I couldn t help relating what I was reading to Chinese contexts The vivid, eerie depiction of the flooding of Cascade got me thinking of what has been lost to the Three Gorges Dam project, how so many people and so much history could be relocated and buried under water The main character s struggles between duty and passion mirror those of many Chinese women today, who still marry the stable man who is best for the family like Dez does when she marries Asa in the novel instead of choosing partners based on passion what Dez shares with Jacob Thus, this is historical fiction strongly anchored to a specific time and place, and yet so well written that it was universal to me You see so much through Dez s eyes, and live everything through her, but thanks to the author s great choice of third person past tense narration, Dez, for all her human flaws, never becomes an annoying or unsympathetic voice. I believe this is tied with Tell the Wolves I m Home for my favorite book of the year I can t say enough about it, beautifully written, meaningful and enjoyable An incredibly moving story, heartbreaking and, ultimately uplifting I just can t recommend this enough Enjoy I have always been fascinated by the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir during the 1930s and the four small Massachusetts towns that were drowned under its rising waters This book gives you the flavor of what it was like to live in one of those towns, and having to deal with both the Great Depression and the looming construction of the Reservoir Everything is seen through the eyes of a talented and artistic woman who embraces the turmoil of the time as an opportunity to find love and fulfillment, and to find a way to keep the promises she made to her father and herself Nicely written and well paced, this is old fashioned storytelling, that works well with the historical setting Several twists and turns keep things interesting, and in the end, the reader learns that even a life that seems so solid, so stable, and so permanent can disappear forever, like the vanished towns beneath the Quabbin.