The Dust That Falls from Dreams Summary and Reviews

The Dust That Falls from Dreams

by Louis de Bernieres

The Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernieres X
The Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernieres
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Book Summary

From the acclaimed author of Corelli's Mandolin, here is a sumptuous, sweeping, powerfully moving new novel about a British family whose lives and loves are indelibly shaped by the horrors of World War I and the hopes for its aftermath.

In the brief golden years of the Edwardian era the McCosh sisters - Christabel, Ottilie, Rosie and Sophie - grow up in an idyllic household in the countryside south of London. On one side, their neighbors are the proper Pendennis family, recently arrived from Baltimore, whose close-in-age boys - Sidney, Albert and Ashbridge - shake their father's hand at breakfast and address him as "sir." On the other side is the Pitt family: a "resolutely French" mother, a former navy captain father, and two brothers, Archie and Daniel, who are clearly "going to grow up into a pair of daredevils and adventurers." In childhood this band is inseparable, but the days of careless camaraderie are brought to an abrupt halt by the outbreak of The Great War, in which everyone will play a part.

All three Pendennis brothers fight in the hellish trenches at the front; Daniel Pitt becomes an ace fighter pilot with his daredevil tendencies intact; Rosie and Ottilie McCosh volunteer in the hospitals, where women serve with as much passion and nearly as much hardship as the men at the front; Christabel McCosh becomes one of the squad of photographers sending "snaps" of their loved ones at home to the soldiers; and Sophie McCosh drives for the RAF in France. In the aftermath of the war, as "the universal joy and relief were beginning to be tempered by...an atmosphere of uncertainty," everyone must contend with the modern world that is slowly emerging from the ashes of the old.

A wholly immersive novel about a particular time and place, The Dust That Falls from Dreams also illuminates the timeless ways in which men and women carry profound loss alongside indelible hope.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This lovely tale is both intimate and grand; readers will enjoy every minute of it." - Publishers Weekly

"De Berniéres ... spins a masterful tale that bridges two worlds and delineates the apocalyptic abyss in between. ... This heartrending saga of love, loss, and endurance paints a vivid portrait of the steep price paid by an entire generation of young men and women who participated in and endured the Great War." - Booklist

"Readable and mildly engaging but lacking fresh insights into very familiar material." - Kirkus

"A fresh extension of de Berniéres longstanding interest in the timeless conflicts of love and loyalty ... moving ... poignant." - The New York Times Book Review

"De Bernières is an astute observer of the human heart, and his account of an idealistic young woman learning to live in the real world is beautifully observed." - Mail on Sunday (UK)

"[A] charming and quietly moving tale." - The Sunday Telegraph (UK)

"A richly rewarding read." - Daily Express (UK)

"Rhapsodic, wistful and with more than a touch of whimsy ... It's pure escapism of the very highest quality." - The Sunday Express (UK)

"De Berniéres is adept at describing how lives can be devastated in minutes ... Powerful ... delightful ... Plenty of Dickensian social observation." - The Independent (UK)

"Thrillingly evoked ...The inner life of de Berniéres' lively roll call of characters is as vivid as the external realities, as he explores how anyone might recover from the death of someone they had loved since childhood, and how those who witness such deaths might struggle to readjust to civilian life." - The Independent (UK)

"A very complex and moving evocation of the war." - The Guardian (UK)

"Genuinely thrilling." - Financial Times (UK)

"A feast of a novel ... This book is very much a hit." - The Times (UK)

This information about The Dust That Falls from Dreams was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Litenin

A Bit of a Dust Up
This book seemed to tease me with the constant hope for and anticipation of reaching for dreams. It was, as expected, a wonderfully written work that reflected the quality of literature I expect when I read de Benrieres. The initial chapters were captivating and of page turning interest, however as the story progressed it seemed to loose some of its direction, momentum and engagement. I was left somewhat satisfied but not fulfilled. In my humble opinion a good but not a great read.

Bette

The Dust that falls from dreams review
Book is not an easy read. Cannot tell who is writing some of the chapters - they switch from one narrator to another. It is not an enjoyable book to read.

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Author Information

Louis de Bernieres Author Biography

Louis de Bernières works include A Partisan's Daughter, Birds Without Wings, Red Dog, Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World, Corelli's Mandolin (Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best Book, 1995), The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord (Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best Book, Eurasia Region, 1992), The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts (Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best Book, Eurasia Region, 1991), The Dust that Falls from Dreams and So Much Life Left Over He was selected by Granta as one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 1993.

Link to Louis de Bernieres's Website

Name Pronunciation
Louis de Bernieres: LOO-ey duh BAIR-nee-air

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