The first thing that drew me to this gem of a novel is the cover. Let's all take a moment to admire it. Ooh ahh. I've had this book on my radar for a while now and I'm so happy to have finally got around to purchasing and reading it. I decided to give the audiobook a go, which is what I usually do when I really want to read a book, but don't want it to get lost in my physical TBR pile. I sort of buy audiobooks as I go, so what I buy will typically get listened to, or "read", right away.
The story was excellent. In the beginning portion of the book, I wasn't quite sure how much I'd end up liking it. Not that it wasn't good, but I wasn't quite sure where the story was going. All I really knew about the book is that the female protagonist is an artist and the town she lives in may soon be under water, thanks to plans to build a reservoir to supply the city of Boston with drinking water. Both of those things piqued my interest. I love books about artists, especially female artists a la Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood. Then, the whole town-under-water thing... see, last Christmas one of my dad's friends came over. He was from Springfield, Massachusetts and droned on-and-on about his recent vacation "back home". He wouldn't shut up about the town he grew up in and insisted on Googling images of the town. One -and I do mean one- interesting thing he mentioned was a town somewhere in Massachusetts that was flooded and turned into a reservoir.
I'm sure this is likely the inspiration of the book. I did some quick research via Google that directed me to Wikipedia and found there were two reservoirs built that led to several towns being demolished for use of their lands. One, the Quabbin Reservoir, almost fits the description of the reservoir that threatens the town of Cascade perfectly, including the time it was built (1930-1939). Since I was listening to the audiobook, I can't go back in the book for references or even the name of the fictional reservoir that was built in the book. However, just reading about the real life reservoirs that were built is both pretty haunting and fairly interesting.
I certainly enjoyed this story. My only complaint is that the narrator of the audiobook seemed like she was shouting the entire time and was very theatrical. Still, I enjoyed the story very much. I thought the story was unique and I loved that the main character, Dez, who chooses her own independence and happiness over that of others. She really takes her life into her own hands. I believe that the feminist reader could certainly appreciate this story, as well as the art lover.
I am giving Cascade 4 out of 5 stars.