Cascade by Maryanne O'Hara
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



A painter is hired to create images of her doomed town before it is wiped off the map.

Desdemona Hart Spaulding, a promising, Paris-trained artist, marries in
haste and settles in the small, once-fashionable summer town
of Cascade to 1) provide a home for her bankrupt father and 2) save the
family's renowned Shakespeare theater. Now Cascade is on the short list
to be flooded to provide drinking water for Boston, MA, and Dez's
growing discontent is complicated by her friendship with Jacob, a fellow
artist. When tragic events force Dez to make hard choices, she grapples
with equally hard questions: Must she keep her promises? Is it morally
possible to set herself free?

"What do we have to give up to
be whom we yearn to be?  CASCADE unfolds like a Shakespearean tragedy,
with an ending you won't see coming.
The Boston Globe

written and involving, Cascade explores the age-old conflict between a
woman's perceived duty and her deepest desires." People Magazine, People

CASCADE deftly interweaves a town's impending destruction and struggles during the Depression with small-town anti-Semitism and the bohemian art world of Greenwich Village.

Inaugural selection of The Boston Globe Book Club.
Massachusetts "Must Read" Fiction, 2013.
Massachusetts Book Award Finalist 2013.
Slate Magazine "Best Books '12," "Summer Reads '13.People Magazine "People Pick."
People Magazine "Great Reads in Paperback."Boston Globe "Best of the New, 2012.
Library Journal 2012 "Best Bet."
NPR--Radio Boston: Good Reads for Summer '13
Design Observer--50 Books/50 Covers, Winner, 2012

About Maryanne O'Hara

See more books from this Author
A graduate of Emerson College's MFA program, MARYANNE O'HARA was a longtime associate editor at Ploughshares magazine. Her short stories have been published in Five Points, The North American Review, The Crescent Review, and Redbook, as well as the literary anthologies MicroFiction, Brevity & Echo, The Art of Friction, and Flash Fiction: Youth. She lives near Boston with her family.
Published August 16, 2012 by Penguin Books. 365 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Cascade

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Dez and her artist soul mate, Jacob Solomon, one of Cascade’s few Jewish residents, happen to have been trysting near the dam where, later, a water surveyor’s body will be found—apparently he fell and drowned while investigating.

Jul 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Cascade: A Novel

The Boston Globe

She yearns for her father’s theater to be reopened and filled with her paintings and New York City summer people and she prefers the company of Jacob, a Jewish artist from New York.

Aug 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Cascade: A Novel

For more from, sign up or log in below To continue, please sign up or log in to Access the full articles and quality reporting of The Boston Globe at

Aug 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Cascade: A Novel

Good E-Reader

Within the next ten years, public school classrooms across the country are going to look a lot more like Mercy’s classroom because the educational possibilities with these kinds of technologies are limitless.

Sep 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Cascade: A Novel

Reader Rating for Cascade

An aggregated and normalized score based on 181 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review