Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara – Blog Tour and Book Review

Thank you for sharing...Share on YummlyPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on FacebookShare on Reddit

About the Book:

• Hardcover: 368 pages
• Publisher: Viking Adult (August 16, 2012)
1935: In a small town fighting for its survival, a conflicted new wife and promising artist finds herself caught in the eternal tug between duty and desire
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?

About the Author:

Maryanne O’Hara was the longtime associate fiction editor of Ploughshares, Boston’s award-winning literary journal. Her short fiction has been published in magazines like The North American ReviewFive PointsRedbook, and many anthologies. She has received grants from the St. Botolph Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and her story collection was a finalist for 2010′s Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. She lives on a river near Boston.
Find out more about Maryanne at her website, read her blog, and connect with her on Facebook.

My Opinion:

Desdemona Hart is the daughter of the owner of a Shakespearean Playhouse. He is facing bankruptcy so Dez leaves the freedom of the art world she loves to come home and marry staid, solid Asa Spaulding who takes her father in just as he falls ill. Dez is expected to be a model housewife and produce little Asas and Desdemonas as soon as possible but she feels constricted by small town life and by marriage.  Her father passes a mere two months after she weds and she finds that he signed the playhouse over to her husband and all he leaves her is a prop from one of the plays – Portia’s casket ( a small jewelry box like item) to be opened when the playhouse re – opens. The only light in her life is the time spent with a traveling salesman, Jacob. He is also an artist and he understands her in a way that her husband does not.

The town where she lives is under consideration to be destroyed and flooded to provide a water source for Boston and Asa is fighting hard against it but Dez has mixed feelings – it might free her from Cascade. And possibly from Asa.  As the town waits for the news so does Dez wait to decide exactly what to do.

I had a hard time with this book despite the excellent writing because I had a very hard time liking Dez. Nothing made her happy; even when she finally found a touch of success with her art she was still whining. I suppose it was the time; women of that time period were not particularly aggressive or self supporting but Dez sometimes had the hardest time making the simplest decisions and this drove me to distraction. She wanted to be free but she couldn’t let go of her father’s legacy. She wanted to be free but she still needed a man. I just didn’t get her.

The historical aspects of the book and period details were fascinating and were written in seamlessly. The reader gets a true feel for what the times must have been like. The details surrounding the artistic process are well described and were very interesting as well. 

You can see the Cascade Tour Schedule

You can purchase Cascade on

Disclosure:  I received a copy of Cascade gratis from TLC Book Tours. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of the free book. I received no monetary compensation for this post.


  1. says

    Thanks for taking the time to write an honest review of my book. It’s really been quite fascinating for me to see the broad range of reader reactions to Dez!

    Happy New Year!

    Maryanne O’Hara

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge