Monday, September 21, 2015

The Dust That Falls From Dreams - Book Review

From the cover :

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.

My thoughts :

I absolutely loved The Dust That Falls From Dreams by Louis de Bernieres.  Writing with style, grace and a deep understanding of people, de Bernieres stole my heart. In the epic story, I fell in love with the characters. Their eccentricities were not simply characterizations but personalities of people who seemed so real, certainly they inhabited The Grampians. 

I love a good family drama and de Bernieres combines the McCosh's family history with world history as they experience World War I and its aftermath from several different perspectives. Taking the reader into the trenches of France and the hospitals and the home front, de Berieres spares no unpleasant details to show the horrors of war while writing in stunningly beautiful language.

The war left no one unchanged and de Bernieres explores the effects of family life and love and relationships with God and man as the McCosh family and their friends struggle to move on with their lives following the war. But the reader wants only the best for these marvelously flawed and human characters inhabiting the pages. It's a powerful story evoking a myriad of emotions and making one ponder life and war and love.

There are times where the novel drags on a bit but thankfully, it picks up steams toward the ending. And while de Bernieres and reality doesn't have its "happily ever after" endings there is a wonderful feeling of hope for the future.

The Dust That Fall From Dreams by Louis de Bernieres is published by Pantheon and released in August 2015.

**I received a complimentary copy of The Dust That Falls From Dreams. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.**

1 comment:

Booklogged said...

Sounds good. I love the title.