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HELLO BOOK CLUBS
Thank you so much for visiting my website. Book clubs are dear to my heart, and I would love to visit your club, either in person , by telephone, or by Skype. Since people do ask, please know that there is certainly no charge. I thank you for reading.
Book clubs enjoy CASCADE, and find that there is much to think about, discuss, and argue about. One book club hostess writes: “What a treat to have the author in the room! It was a wonderful book, with rich deep themes about women’s issues, history, art, literature, and Americana…highly recommended and brilliant!!!“Just email me at MaryanneOHaraAuthor@gmail.com and we’ll figure out a time for me to talk to your club.
Update: Although I am from Boston, I am temporarily living in Pittsburgh, PA. For the past year, our family has been living in a kind of medical limbo here, as our daughter awaits a lung transplant. I write about this, briefly and occasionally, at www.9LivesNotes.com
We deeply appreciate the kind prayers and thoughts people have sent our way.
Penguins’ reading guide for CASCADE is included in the paperback version of the book. For owners of hardcovers and e-books, here’s the link: CASCADE Reading Guide
I wrote many of the questions, and designed them to provoke discussion, and even argument:
1. Cascade explores characters who struggle with independence and reconciling their passions with their responsibilities. How did you react to those characters, and why?
2. Cascade evokes America during the 1930s, but explores themes that are timeless. How might the story play out if set in other time periods?
3. Did Dez’s decisions make you uncomfortable? If so, why?
4. A working title for Cascade was “Swift Rising River.” How does that title serve as metaphor for events in the book?
Signed Bookplates: I am happy to send signed, personalized, limited-edition bookplates to those who can’t have me sign books in person. The stamp is on me. Just email.
Many thanks & happy reading!
I am extremely fortunate to be part of an incredible book club that marks 17 years of existence in 2014. Because people often ask us for recommendations, we’ve looked back on our reading journals and compiled a comprehensive list.
Click to download the list in PDF format.
LETTERS FROM READERS
The best part about publishing CASCADE has been connecting with readers. I love hearing from people. Here are some favorites:
My grandfather-an attorney- was able to stop his area of the Ozarks from being engulfed by going to Congress and pleading for all the cemeteries and all the people who have lived in the “Hills”. He also had a good friend-Senator Bill Fulbright…I grew up with a grandfather who told me my mission was to “blow up all those dams”. Thank goodness I saw reason and remained a good citizen throughout my life.
I just finished reading Cascade. Wow. You captured life, not just the life and struggles of an artist, but the life and struggles of women who want something more than what is expected. Your portrayal of a visual artist in particular rang true. What a bittersweet and moving story. Thank you.
I currently live in Central Florida and have seen evidence of this sort of thing happening in regards to the Cross Florida Canal that began as part of the “New Deal”. This discovery has made an impact on me as well.
As a lifelong resident of Western Mass, the creation of the Quabbin has always fascinated me and troubled me (I’m not a fan of changing the landscapes and life of rural Mass for the benefit of Boston, which still is happening today; for instance, the push for putting biomass plants out here was only slowed after a huge effort on Western Mass residents’ part – no plants were planned for Eastern Mass, of course). So, I think you may have touched on some universal themes that will resonate now and into the future.
Before I looked at your trailer, which is wonderful by the way, I thought your book was set in the Northwest, Cascade being the name of the mountains here and with all our dams. I remember as a young girl coming with my family over one of the passes and down through a steep valley where a small town and rural area were being cleared for one of those dams. I watched the trees flicker by, caught glimpses of empty houses and barns and wondered out loud if these things would be moved somewhere and would they cut the trees first. My father thought they would not, that they’d be covered with water. I don’t know how much clearing was actually done, but even today, I can’t pass through the area without wondering where those people went and how did they reconstruct their lives. I know of other places along the Columbia River where the towns were moved and rebuilt, but as far as I know, that didn’t happen with the reservoir. It simply swallowed them up.
I just finished Cascade this afternoon, and I am definitely haunted by the images of the drowned town. What impresses me so much about those images is that you portray them through Dez, through her artwork. That’s a complex series of levels — to make the town real in and of itself, but also through these paintings that we can’t, in fact, see — that we imagine through Dez’s eyes. That seem so vivid. So real. It’s a brilliant use of perspective.
I love learning more about your process, especially since the process of making art seems so central to Cascade. There were places where you were writing about painting, where Dez loses herself in inspiration, and they could have been written about writing as well.
It’s just so good, this novel, this story. I’m sure it will stay with me for a long, long time.
My grandparents lived in upstate New York and their property was surrounded by abandoned mining shafts. We were always told to be careful because if something(or someone) fell in, no one would be the wiser. Now living in Oklahoma, I am surrounded by manmade lakes and rivers, several of which conceal towns and farms in their sediment.
I tried very hard to find excuses for Dez’s behavior but in the long run just had to accept her for who she was!
I wanted to let you know that I absolutely loved it! I received it last week and finished it today and thought it was a wonderful novel! Definitely the best book I have read so far this year since it took first place away from “A Land More Kind Than Home”. I have read many new authors this year (really enjoy ‘first time authors’) but I knew I would like “Cascade” by all the reviews I had read. It amazes me someone just decides they can demolish a whole town and cover it with water and have no feelings for all the history that goes with it. However, on the other hand, like your book says, it can be a new beginning. Here in Texas we are still fighting over landowner’s ‘water rights’ so I guess history hasn’t changed that much from the 30’s era time of your book.