My Dream of You by Nuala O'Faolain

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The greatly anticipated first novel by the author of the number-one New York Times bestseller Are You Somebody?: a novel within a novel, a love story within a love story, an historical story within a contemporary one.

Hailed by critics ("A beautiful exploration of human loneliness and happiness, of contentment and longing," wrote Alice McDermott in The Washington Post) and embraced by legions of readers, Nuala O'Faolain's memoir Are You Somebody? introduced a writer of exceptional insight, honesty, and compassion. These same gifts are evident in O'Faolain's grand first novel that tells of parallel lives, one hundred fifty years apart, driven by a hunger for passionate love.

My Dream of You is the story of Kathleen de Burca, an Irish woman based in London, a travel writer who crisscrosses the globe. She is a woman on the run until a quick series of blows, on the eve of a milestone birthday, stops her cold-revealing the painful cost of her refugee existence and the encroaching despair that the love she believed would deliver her might never come. And still, she feels, her heart is ridiculously alive. . . .

And so it is to passion that Kathleen turns when she sets out for Ireland to investigate the true story of a scandalous affair between the wife of an English landlord and an Irish servant during the latter years of the Famine. Between the lines of the historical record and through a reconsideration of the family she fled so long ago, Kathleen attempts to understand how it is that even in the face of adversity love can prevail and even with love families can be torn apart. During her time in the country, she encounters a lover of her own who helps her to know her own heart and presents her with an ultimate choice that, like the one made by her nineteenth-century lovers, promises to alter the course of her life.

My Dream of You is a singular achievement: a feeling and captivating work that explores the extremes of passion, the depths of loneliness, and the resilience of the human heart.

About Nuala O'Faolain

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Journalist and author Nuala O'Faolain was born in 1940 and grew up in the countryside near Dublin. Before earning a postgraduate degree in English from Oxford University, she studied English as University College, Dublin and medieval English literature at the University of Hull. She had numerous jobs including a lecturer in the English department at University College; produced programs for Open Door, a community-access documentary department at the BBC; and produced current-affairs television programs for Radio Telifis Eirann. She started writing a weekly opinion column for The Irish Times in 1986. She wrote two memoirs, Are You Somebody? (1996) and Almost There (2003), and two novels, My Dream of You (2001) and The Story of Chicago May (2006). She died of lung cancer on May 9, 2008.
Published January 1, 2001 by Riverhead Books. 464 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Travel, Action & Adventure, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for My Dream of You

Kirkus Reviews

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Approaching 50, Kathleen de Burca finds her life a tidy ruin: a travel writer for decades, she’s led a life that may seem glamorous and exciting, yet she has little to show for her wandering years, which seem now less like exploring than simply running away.

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The Guardian

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My Dream of You Nuala O'Faolain Michael Joseph £12.99, pp464 Buy it at a discount at BOL Juno & Juliet Julian Gough Flamingo £9.99, pp295 Buy it at a discount at BOL The Diary of an America Au Pair Marjorie Leet Ford Chatto & Windus £10.99, pp346 Love in Idleness Charlotte Mendelson Picador £12...

Apr 29 2001 | Read Full Review of My Dream of You

Publishers Weekly

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And O'Faolain's depiction of the west of Ireland during and just after the Famine surpasses any historical recitation of the ""facts."" (Feb. 19) Forecast: O'Faolain's memoir was a bestseller, and the 125,000-copy first printing and 17-city author tour scheduled for the novel anticipate another r...

Feb 01 2001 | Read Full Review of My Dream of You

Book Reporter

Thinking herself on the trail of a great love story, what Kathleen uncovers in this heartbreaking introspection on love and loneliness is her own difficult path as an independent, career woman that went looking for a passionate love in all the wrong ways.

Feb 05 2002 | Read Full Review of My Dream of You

Entertainment Weekly

Overwhelmed by a midlife crisis at 49, travel writer Kathleen Burke trades in her lonely if glamorously globe-trotting lifestyle to return to her native Ireland and confront the ghosts of a terrible childhood after 30 years away.

Mar 09 2001 | Read Full Review of My Dream of You

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