Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Cascade by Maryanne O'Hara (CLOSED)

Cascade by Maryanne O'Hara
Penguin Books
April 2013
Format: ARC e-book, 384 pages
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

A novel of art and desire in the 1930s

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?

Fans 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 1930s.

My thoughts: I enjoy reading historical fiction, and usually tend to gravitate towards anything Tudor-related, but lately have gotten into historical fiction dealing with American History. This book caught my attention because it was set during the Depression era. I admit that I have not read much about the Depression era, so this one definitely sounded like an interesting read and it was. Plus that cover just pulls at you - isn't it stunning?

Desdemona has given up her art career to take care of her ailing father. She heads back to her small hometown of Cascade, Massachusetts and marries Asa. Would she have married him if her father didn't need the financial means to save his theater or a place to live? That is a question that stays with Dez as she moves through life. In fact, there are a few decisions that Dez makes that haunt her in her later days.

On top of being in a loveless marriage, the town of Cascade is threatened to be flooded and turned into a water source for the city of Boston. This is what propels Dez back to her art as she creates a series a postcards that are published in a newspaper to bring attention to Cascade. 

There's so much in this book. There's self-discovery, a little romance, a mystery, and the journey of pursuing what ultimately becomes one's life's work. Between the government's taking over little towns to turn them into water sources, to the government offering artists the chance for work, the history that Maryanne O'Hara touches upon has left me wanting to know more about this time period. I also loved all the art - I am not an artist by any means, and so am always curious by those with the skills to create such beautiful art pieces. I wish we could have seen all the postcards that Dez created. 

This is a beautifully written book that just pulls you in. It's a bit slow to start, but eventually you get to the point where do can't put it down.

About the author: Maryanne O’Hara was the longtime associate fiction editor at the award-winning literary journal Ploughshares. She received her MFA from Emerson College fifteen years ago, and wrote short fiction that was widely published before committing to the long form. She lives on a river near Boston.

For more information on Maryanne O’Hara, please visit her website.  You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and GoodReads.

Be sure to check out all the other stops on the blog tour and follow the tour on Twitter (hashtag: #CascadeVirtualTour).


Giveaway Information (CLOSED):
Thanks to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours I have one paperback copy of Cascade to give away to my readers. 

  • Open to US only
  • Must include email address to enter 

* Mandatory entry - Tell me why you want to read this book. 
* Extra entry #1 - become a follower of Always With a Book - via email, twitter or bloglovin'. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries (just leave the name you follow under and how).  

* Extra entry #2 - please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting, pinning onto Pinterest or posting this giveaway on Facebook (each way you share gets you 1 more entry).  

All entries can be in one email - but you MUST include email address or no entry


Good Luck!!!


  1. I've been interested in Cascade ever since I first heard about it a few months ago. The setting, the time period and the story all sound very appealing. I'd love to win a copy. Thanks.

  2. As usual, I forgot to include my email address: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

  3. I follow your blog by email: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

    I tweeted a link to this post: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/339446759950524417

    I also pinned it: http://pinterest.com/pin/336573772122228729/

    Thanks again!

  4. This novel is compelling since I enjoy depth and books set during that era. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. I want too read Cascade because the time period is so interesting. My parents grew up as chidren and young adults very affected by that time. The cover is magnificent!!
    I follow with email kathleen.bianchi@ymail.com

  7. A fascinating story that is captivating and unique and the era during which it takes place is meaningful. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  8. I am an e-mail subscriber. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  9. I keep seeing this book everywhere. I enjoy reading historical fiction and the cover alone makes me want to read Cascade. I am a follower by email. Thanks for having the giveaway.


  10. I, too, have not read much during the Depression era, though I have begun to read more HF that takes place in America. The cover is absolutely beautiful.

    lafra86 at gmail dot com

  11. I follow via email:

    lafra86 at gmail dot com

  12. Thanks so much for this lovely review of my book. When readers connect/appreciate, it's just wonderful to hear. Thank you !

    Maryanne O'Hara

  13. Hi Kristin - just checking for a winner of Sandra Byrd's giveaway.. thanks! wanted to take down the link in my sidebar but didn't know if you'd chosen as yet. HapPy ABEA day ;)

  14. This looks so great! Thanks for sharing with us! I adore that cover as well.
    Did the author have any say on the design of the book cover? Also, who in the author's life encouraged them to sit down and write their first book?
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    I follow via email: mestith at gmail dot com
    mestith at gmail dot com

  15. My favorite historical fiction is set in the early 20th century. Looking forward to reading this!

    Thanks for the giveaway!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I love interacting with other book lovers and appreciate any thoughts or feedback! If you read a book after seeing my review, please let me know. Come back and leave me a link to your review so I can read it. Thank you!!!

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