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Beneath The Surface: Maryanne O'Hara's 'Cascade'

This article is more than 7 years old.

In April of 1938, Massachusetts state officials notified the towns of Dana, Enfield, Prescott and Greenwich in the western part of the state that they would cease to exist. The homes of some 2,500 people were taken and the towns flooded to create the Quabbin Reservoir, supplying the growing city of Boston with much-needed water.

That uncertain moment in American history — the Great Depression — and the pending death of a town by flooding is the setting of "Cascade," a new novel by Maryanne O'Hara. It tells the story of Desdemona Spalding, a talented young painter who sacrifices her ambitions to care for her ailing father. She's trapped in a loveless marriage, attracted to another man, all while state officials move closer to their decision to flood and kill off her hometown of Cascade — and with it, her family's legacy.


This segment aired on August 16, 2012. The audio for this segment is not available.

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