Cascade could be any small town in America in 1935 - pharmacy and soda fountain, small theater where plays are performed, and residents who are devoted to their community. Dez grew up in Cascade, her father having opened the theater there. With the Depression creating a strain and her father's health failing, she marries Asa, a man she likes, but is not in love with. Asa is able to offer her stability and keep her father's playhouse alive, yet he cannot give Dez the one thing she wants- to be an artist in her own rite.
When Cascade is being considered to be flooded to provide water from Boston, Dez's discontentment with her life comes to the forefront. She is attracted to a fellow artist, Joseph. Unfortunately, not only is Dez already married, but Joseph is Jewish, a mounting problem in the late 1930s.
There were many times I wanted to strangle Dez; she was not the most likeable character and I questioned many of her decisions. Yet I was totally absorbed in this novel. Maryanne O'Hara's debut novel is pitch perfect - a slice of Americana circa 1935 - along with the complexities of relationships and marriage and finding a way to reach your goals.