Friday, September 21, 2012

Cascade


"Art lives after the artist. She tried to hold onto that sentiment...It was cold comfort"
The book cover picture is quite artistic. It shows the back of a woman's head with a waterfall. The story spans several decades from the late 20's through the 40's. The Massachusetts Water Authority needs to create a water reservoir for an electric plant to furnish Boston with power. And so begins the struggle to save the town Cascade. 
Desdemona Hart, Dez for short, is a gifted artist who is forced to leave art school in New York and return to rural Cascade, MA to attend to her ailing father. She returns finding her childhood home in foreclosure. Dez rushes into a marriage of a childhood friend, Asa Spaulding and her world is turned upside down. Asa wants conformity and children but Dez longs to be free to pursue her passion-art in New York.
Dez makes a promise to her dying father to protect his life's work the theater he founded that once produced Shakespearean plays. 
When plans to dam a river nearby a threaten the existence of Cascade, Dez uses her art skills to draw public attention to the plight of the town. 
The choices made by the cast of the characters in this novel keeps the story-line moving  and suspenseful. This book has it all: infidelity, art, Shakespeare, anti-semitism, perceived duty, honor, ecological conflicts, missed opportunities and forbidden love. After completing the book I was quite surprised to find out the author does not have an art or theater background. Her references throughout the book show her to be quite knowledgeable. It is evident the author has done extensive research for the time period 20's,30's and 40's adding many authentic details. 
I really enjoyed her writing. It is one of those books you read for awhile, put it down and look forward to getting back to it to see how the story unfolds and ends.
Something to add to your reading list. 
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Pumpkin Bread

 Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin
  • 2 TB orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2-1/4 cups flour ( I used half white and half whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • scant ground cloves
  • scant nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup orange flavored cranberries or regular
Directions:
  • Preheat oven 350
  • Grease one large loaf pan or use two-three mini loaf pans
  • Cream butter, sugars and 1 egg. Add in second egg, pumpkin, orange zest and orange juice and beat all ingredients together
  • In another bowl add flours, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and cranberries and nuts
  • Add to pumpkin mixture but only stir to moisten ingredients
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes or until center comes clean using a toothpick
  • Cool in pan 10 minutes, invert to a cooling rack

   


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