Cascade, Massachusetts, 1935. Desdemona Hart Spaulding, a promising young artist, abandoned her dreams of working in New York City to rescue her father. Two months later he is dead and Dez is stuck in a marriage to reliable but child-hungry Asa Spaulding. Dez also stands to lose her father’s legacy, the Cascade Shakespeare Theater, as the Massachusetts Water Authority decides whether to flood Cascade to create a reservoir. Amid this turmoil arrives Jacob Solomon, a fellow artist for whom Dez feels an immediate and strong attraction.
As their relationship reaches a pivotal moment, a man is found dead and the town accuses Jacob, a Jewish outsider. But the tide turns when Dez’s idea for a series of painted postcards is picked up by The American Sunday Standard and she abruptly finds herself back on the path to independence. New York City and a life with Jacob both beckon, but what will she have to give up along the way?
©2012 Maryanne O’Hara (P)2012 AudioGO
Over the three years that I've been a constant Audible listener, I've learned well that a narrator can either enhance or detract from my enjoyment of a book. In the case of Cascade, Madeleine Lambert nearly ruined what I think was probably a pretty good novel. As at least one reviewer noted, her rendering of the male voices was clumsy and very distracting; moreover, Ms Lambert read the entire novel in the same tone and cadence. For example, the lines, "The man she wanted thought the worst of her" and "It was fall but unseasonably warm" carried the exact same intensity, and a love scene that could have been quite sensual if read by a difference narrator (Maggi-Meg Reed comes to mind, but there are many other very talented female readers) falls flat. I haven't heard Madeline Lambert read before. Did she have a cold while she was narrating Cascade, or does she always sound like this?
It was a good story, but I think I would have enjoyed it more in a book. I do most of my reading by audiobooks, but this reader did not do well with male voices. I can frequently lose myself in audiobooks, but each time she tried to do a male voice, it was jarring. It could have been edited to work around trying to mimic a male voice and been a much better recording.
Actually, it is Jennifer, not Michael. I enjoy a variety of books but am drawn to romantic historical fiction with a Christian message.
This was a very depressing story about two people who were in love, but could never be together because of changing circumstances.
The story seems to just pull you in, it was really difficult to stop listening !
When Des is working on a painting and Jacob is mentoring her.
The narrator is easy to listen to and she inflects so well you know who is speaking as she goes from character to character.
Des for sure, by the end of the book, you want her for a friend.
I hope the author keeps writing !
I "found" this book after seeing a video by the author, where she talks about the backstory - an actual small town in New England that is purposefully flooded to make a lake. It was fascinating. And the story she writes here is just BEAUTIFUL, thoughtful, lovely! Don't think I'd ever heard Madeleine Lambert before, but she was really good narrating as well. I'd definitely recommend this, and look forward to O'Hara's next book!
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