Review of Beyond the Cascade by A.H. Jessup

Beyond the Cascade
A. H. Jessup

“Beyond the Cascade” is not Aristotle’s “Metaphysics” but it is a metaphysical novel if
such a thing exists. A. D. Jessup’s novel succeeds in imagining a set of “first principles”
from a different POV than the mainstream ­ “Unto the place from whence the rivers
come, thither they return again.” Jessup uses this quote from Ecclesiastes as part of the
opening of his book.
Suzannah Grant is an accomplished anthropologist who is told to “learn something new”
by a psychiatrist. She fights mid­life depression with a search for what most of us call
“the unknowable.” When she discovers an old text she leaves behind academia to go to
Africa in search of the “Cascade” (her version of the Holy Grail). She believes the
Cascade holds the answers she seeks. Reminiscent of a female Indiana Jones she
integrates into tribal life and manages to convince them to take her to the Cascade ­ the
link to the Other Side or the place from whence things come and return again.
This is not an easy read but the author draws his characters well. There are times when
Jessup the writer gets in the way of Jessup the story teller. It’s a flaw for which he can
be forgiven since the story he is telling is compelling and this is his first novel..
4 Stars

Bill S

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