Ophelia was betrayed by the two people she loved most.
Ophelia is a sweet young woman who has every reason to be angry with her late sister and her brother-in-law, Cade. The first time she falls in love, her sister swoops in and steals the man away from her. My curiosity was immediately piqued. I wanted know what could have possibly induced Cade to marry Desdemona when he was clearly in love with Ophelia and then cut Ophelia out of their lives entirely. I eagerly dove into the pages searching for an explanation. The truth behind Desdemona’s betrayal is dreadful.
I have a lot of respect for Ophelia. Desdemona’s betrayal regarding Cade was simply the last in a long line of offenses she committed. It took a lot of courage to go to her sister’s funeral, investigate the murder, and face the man she once loved. It took even more courage to examine herself and acknowledge the very small part she played in the tragedy. I do think that Ophelia is a little too hard on herself. Desdemona and Cade are adults and clearly responsible for their own actions.
Ophelia is heart broken when she learns how unhappy Desdemona’s life had been. However, I had a very hard time sympathizing with Desdemona’s plight. Desdemona struck me as a cruel woman who rarely thought of anyone but herself. She used people and then tossed them aside when she was done. Her tragic situation was entirely of her own making. I couldn’t really sympathize with Cade either. I understand that Ophelia was called away from him when their romance was still young, but no one forced him to find comfort in the arms of Desdemona.
Ms. Marlow did a good job of weaving the mystery surrounding Desdemona’s death. There were a lot of plausible suspects. In fact, there were so many suspects that the sheriff’s insistence that Cade killed Desdemona as well as the other young women is completely ridiculous. With such an abundance of suspects, I was on the edge of my seat, and I didn’t figure it out until the very end.
Overall, I enjoyed reading When Swallows Fall. Its pages are filled with heartbreak, mystery, and love. Anyone looking for a story of tragedy and romance of Shakespearean proportions should give When Swallows Fall a try.
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