My Dream of You

My Dream of You

by Nuala O'Faolain

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My Dream of You 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you long for fine writing and appreciate realism, this is the book for you. Nuala O'Faolain is in a class not entered since William Kennedy wrote Ironweed. Not a book for the prudish or faint of heart, this is a remarkable work. Well worth your time. The author creates a woman who longs for love, and by the end of the book you will love her.
nycbookgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting book about an Irish transplant travel writer in London. The story flip flops between her present life and her reflection on her past. It also flips way back to a story she's researching about an affair between an Irish groom and an English lady during the potato famine years (think mid-eighteen hundreds). I liked this book because it described a reality in Ireland that we sometime as tourists and travelers don't see about a place. It was also amazing to realize the shear amount of people who suffered, died, and immigrated. The book did tend to ramble and I think she could have cut the story down in half but it did really make you get to know the main character.
ksmac on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lyrical, poignant story of a woman searching for her own history
lucymaesmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kathleen De Burca, an Irish travel writer living in London, trows over her life there to return to Ireland and write a book. What she is chasing down is an old scandal - an affair in mid century Ireland between the wife of an English landlord and her Irish servant during the time of the Irish potato famine. Also woven into the narrative is Kathleen's own story - tragically disfunctional families, sharp-eyed feminist critiques of contemporary society, aging,, sex and friendship. A beautifully written book about longing, regret, choices and change.
webgeekstress on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I seriously disliked the main character: whiny, selfish, amoral. The least the author could have done was to wrap up the Marianne Talbot / William Mullan subplot.
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amy12 More than 1 year ago
This book is beautifully written by Ms. O'Faolain and is full of sad, tortured, unhappy, and doomed characters. The descriptions of the Irish potato famine and the lives affected is particularly harsh and painful but also accurate. It both captivated and repelled me. It was so wonderfully written but so overwrought and mentally burdensome that it took a while to get through. It was a dead on description of Irish angst (yup, I'm Irish! so I know!) but it gets a bit much sometimes. Overall, a very good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
My Dream of You is one of the better written books that I have read in a long time. The book took me back in time and I enjoyed the wonderful escape.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book because I wanted to read something new by an Irish author. At the beginning, I found the depictions of an empty life so painful and unmotivating that I was tempted to quit. But the book gets better as it goes along...I enjoyed it more and more as Kathleen realizes, near the end, that she needs to re-connect with her own homeland, family and self. Even as a happily married 41-year old woman, I could relate to some of Kathleen's loneliness and self-defeating behavior. Well-written and ultimately worth spending the time on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book when it first came out, but because of the shelf of books that I had ahead of it I¿ve only just finished reading it. Not a reader of smut books so I must warn that her ¿love/sex¿ moments are awkwardly shocking, full of passion, and yet still manage to capture the quintessential nature of real behavior. It is a great read, which I highly recommend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the other readers' reviews...Can't help adding my own 2 pence. Did anyone read the title? My Dream of You is an examination of a modern smoke-and-mirrors champion. The one-dimensional characters and lurid sexuality are quintessential to empathically experiencing Kathleen's world. Kathleen finds herself never "at home" (as she despises/fears what she will find there), and learns little is ever as it appears to be - and this is often by her own doing. She is a self-expatriated Irishwoman while in England. A successful career woman travelling around the globe, she is a lonely stranger in others' homes, often short on self-confidence. She is cold in the arms of searing passion, and at other times, gives herself insensibly to loathsome partners. Her raw sexual encounters deny her any spiritual satisfaction, and distance her from true intimacy, which would force her to acknowledge her true self - or "bring her home." Her painful avoidance of her siblings effects the same result. She experiences her self and those around her as one-dimensional, again, to conceal what is "home" - and threatening - about them. This is all reflected in the historical sub-plot - the adulterous landed Lady, displaced from her home-country, miserable in a loveless marriage - and in the pathetic subplot of the Burke family history - a mother who cannot mother; a family left hardened and hopeless; a home without a heart. And the true-love Kathleen hoped to unmask in her pursuit of the famine-time adulterers is but yet another mirage, just as she seeks true-love in her adulterous affair with Shay. Things are not one-dimensional; there is much supporting the facades. Kathleen must choose to surrender her "Dreams of..." her self, her future, her past, and enter a multi-dimensional reality, and finally "come home" to her true self.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Aargh. It took me 150 pages to even want to keep reading this book. The only thing that motivated me to continue reading was the fact that I spent money on the book. If you are below 40, don't read this book. If you consider yourself a moral person, monogamous, virtuous, don't read this book. If you'd like to treat yourself, don't buy this book. Your money is better spent on almost ANY other book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book. the main character is a bit of a tramp but still it shows that not everyone gets the standard sit com life (husband, children, house, dog, job, etc)and that that is just way it is. I suspect the more similar you are to Kathleen the more you like the book. It made sense to me because i'm in my early 40's and widowed and just starting to realize that things are unlikely to work out as i planned. I suspect is would have hated this book in my 20's or even in my 40's if i'd have gotten everything the way i thought i was going to.It's very life affirming. Life is not the same for everyone but there's a lot of joy to be found.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THE DESCRIPTION WAS EXCEPTIONAL. INSIGHT INTO BEING A 50 YEAR SINGLE WOMAN IS REMARKABLE. IT ISN'T ALL LONELINESS-FRIENDSHIP IS THERE AND SHE CHERISHES IT. REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK AND WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. great book. would highly recommend it. 50 years of age, she has found out that being on one's own can be very fulfilling. friendship matters more than an illicit love affair that would harm her more than give her fulfillment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An absolutely horrible book. The author tries way too hard to write 'high quality literature,' but the 'poetic' passages are so forced they are corny. She ends each sub chapter with seemingly poignant and resounding sentences that are so contrived they come off as pathetic. On top of the poor writing, the main charater in a nymphomaniac, and the author can't resist throwing in soft core porn every other page, which seems like a desperate attempt to hold a readers attention through the flimsy writing, shallow, transparnet themes and weak, obtuse parallels between flat, unoriginal charaters. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is clearly a first novel and does not get too complex in the way it blends characters and themes, but it definitely has an appeal. The heroine, Kathleen Burke (Caitlin de Burca) is a 50 year old travel writer who left her unhappy home in an Irish town 30 years before, carrying nothing on her back but the baggage of her upbringing. She moves to London, swearing that she will never set foot on Irish soil again. She's wrong, of course; but aren't most of the life-defining declarations we make when we are young? She stays away for the 30 years, though. Because of a xerox copy of a court judgement from the 1850's that was given to her by an ex-lover many years before -- for which she always held a romantic fascination -- she retuns to Ireland (to Ballygall) to trace the roots of the judgement ... and write a book about it. She is partly fascinated by the judgement -- a divorce decree -- because it involves the time of the Great Famine and an adulterous affair between a Irish stable-man (who would likely have spoken almost exclusively Irish) and the gentrified wife of a cruel landlord (who certainly would have no Irish at all). The affair was supposed to have lasted (according to the judgement) for 3 years. Kathleen wonders: What could they have possibly talked about and what sustained the affair for that duration? Even simple lust will seldom carry forward for that length of time. She decides to try to find out. What ensues is an exploration of the topic, the history, the culture of the past and present, and -- most importantly -- an exploration of herself that she has avoided for the better part of a lifetime. She finds parallels where she never would have imagined: In her own life, her upbringing, her heritage. She discovers that the past and the present are remarkably similar, because both revolve around people ... and people's needs ... and people's anguish. For the first time, she looks at the things that she blames for her unhappiness ... and sees herself in ways that she had thought were impossible. She had spent most of her life trying to run from her past, and ran into it headlong! But this is not a tragic tale; it is a tale of learning and redemption. I would have liked to have seen more complexity to the story; more profundity. But there is meat for self-exploration, for those who wish to dabble there. I found myself thinking about my own past and wondering if I was living the same sort of folly. There are things left unresolved, which I view as a courageous decision. Some of the themes would have been tempting to tie up in a nice little bow. The difficulty would be in resisting that temptation and recognizing the power that can sometimes come from uncertainty. This is an examination of a life still being lived by examining lives that are passed: There are few clear conclusions; there is just continual learning! I recommend this book, for both the simple and enticing story, and the insights into the complexity of the history we think we know ... and the history of the lives we lead. My Dream of You by Nuala O'Faolain
Guest More than 1 year ago
Part shocking history, part sexual odyssey, all lyrical prose, Dublin journalist Nuala O'Faolain's first fiction is stunning as she interweaves past and present in parallel stories of two women seeking fulfillment. Ms. O'Faolain's bestselling memoir, 'Are You Somebody?,' won accolades for its utter honesty and brilliant craftsmanship. These attributes shine as brightly in 'My Dream Of You.' Kathleen de Burca, an unmarried 50+ travel writer is a woman who 'believed in passion the way other people believed in God; everything fell into place around it.' Yet to date her life has been a series of meaningless, rueful-in-the-morning liaisons. Compounding her unhappiness is the sudden death of her best friend, Jimmy, a gay fellow writer. Hoping to begin anew, Kathleen takes a leave of absence and returns to her native Ireland. Memories of her homeland are disheartening. She recalls her mother as oppressed and the children as 'neglected victims of her victimhood. Villain? Father. Old-style Irish Catholic patriarch; unkind to wife, unloving to children, harsh to young Kathleen when she tried to talk to him.' Nonetheless, Kathleen wants '....my life given back to me, so I can live it again better.' She has become fascinated by the Talbot affair, an actual event which took place during the Potato Famine, some 150 years ago. According to records, Marianne Talbot, the wife of an Anglo-Irish landowner, was seen by servants en deshabille with William Mullan, a stableman. 'There could hardly have been two people less likely to be drawn to each other than an Anglo-Irish landlord's wife and an Irish servant,' Ms. O'Faolain writes. 'Each of them came from a powerful culture which had at its very core the defining of the other as alien.' Intrigued by the disparity between the apparent lovers and the fact that Marianne is found guilty of adultery, Kathleen determines to write their story. She travels to Ballygall, site of the former Talbot estate, where she is aided in her research by Miss Leech, a feisty spinster librarian; and cosseted by Bertie, a widowed inn owner. As Kathleen delves into the past readers are reminded of the grim devastation wrought by the Famine. Those were days when the still living 'had to open the pit in the top field to push in more bodies,' and Marianne could hear through her drawing room window the cries for food, when 'the low noise of pleading and begging swelled to shrieking.' Surely few have painted the Famine's stark reality as movingly as Ms. O'Faolain. Her descriptions constrict the heart, enabling readers to see anew a mortally wounded country and its people. As Kathleen unearths surprising data about the Talbot scandal, she also discovers some truths about herself. It's at this juncture that she finds another opportunity for romance, but at what price? With 'My Dream Of You' Ms. O'Faolain clearly shows that she is not only a deft memoirist, but a brilliant storyteller, a keen observer of humankind, and a compassionate chronicler of a still present past.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my own search for love i have found that there are many out there just like myself who also seem to be looking in the same places for all the wrong answers. Through my reading of the book 'My Dream Of You' I found another who was not unlike myself just living life in the hopes that one day the right person might show oneself to my heart and let me know that I am wanted, beautiful inside, and loved. There are many steps in the life of love, and this book has coverd them all, between death, lust, and passion, I have found myself longing to go out into the world and declair that I am not alone in my great search and that I will find my other half soon enough and untill then, I will enjoy the ride and experiance the journy to the fullist.