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The Dust That Falls from Dreams
by Louis De Bernieres


Overview -

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.  Read more...


 
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More About The Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louis De Bernieres
 
 
 
Overview

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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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781101946480
  • ISBN-10: 1101946482
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books
  • Publish Date: August 2015
  • Page Count: 513


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > War & Military
Books > Fiction > Sagas

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-07-13
  • Reviewer: Staff

De Bernieres's latest novel is an immersive, sweeping historical epic focusing on three neighboring families in England: the Pitts, the Pendennises, and the McCoshs. As the family children become close and form a small gang called the Pals, the idyllic Edwardian era comes to a close far too quickly, leading all three families into WWI. The three Pendennis boys all enlist in the English infantry, despite being Americans. Daniel Pitt becomes a French fighter pilot. Two of the McCosh sisters volunteer in hospitals. All are confronted daily with the harsh realities of war. Rosie McCosh is in love with Ashbridge Pendennis, and when he enlists, they become engaged, hoping to ride out the war (which they believe will be short) and marry once it is over. Unfortunately Ash meets a tragically early end, leaving Rosie devastated. When the war is over, everyone is left to pick up the pieces and try to put their lives back together, leading to further depths of entanglement between the three families. The ravages of the war on Europe are depicted in stark relief. De Bernieres (Corelli's Mandolin) manages to quite gracefully capture the evolution from the quiet late 19th century to the horrors of modern "total warfare," and the experiences of his characters are varied and satisfying. Moreover, the space left after the war for the people who survived allows de Bernieres to take an intimate look at their various scars. This lovely tale is both intimate and grand; readers will enjoy every minute of it. (Aug.)

 
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