The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld
A Novel

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Synopsis

“Being raised in an unstable household makes you understand that the world doesn’t exist to accommodate you, which, in Hannah’s observation, is something a lot of people struggle to understand well into adulthood.”–from The Man of My Dreams

In her acclaimed debut novel, Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld created a touchstone with her pitch-perfect portrayal of adolescence. Her prose is as intensely realistic and compelling as ever in The Man of My Dreams, a disarmingly candid and sympathetic novel about the collision of a young woman’s fantasies of family and love with the challenges and realities of adult life.

Hannah Gavener is fourteen in the summer of 1991. In the magazines she reads, celebrities plan elaborate weddings; in Hannah’s own life, her parents’ marriage is crumbling. And somewhere in between these two extremes–just maybe–lie the answers to love’s most bewildering questions. But over the next decade and a half, as she moves from Philadelphia to Boston to Albuquerque, Hannah finds that the questions become more rather than less complicated: At what point can you no longer blame your adult failures on your messed-up childhood? Is settling for someone who’s not your soul mate an act of maturity or an admission of defeat? And if you move to another state for a guy who might not love you back, are you being plucky–or just pathetic?

None of the relationships in Hannah’s life are without complications. There’s her father, whose stubbornness Hannah realizes she’s unfortunately inherited; her gorgeous cousin, Fig, whose misbehavior alternately intrigues and irritates Hannah; Henry, whom Hannah first falls for in college, while he’s dating Fig; and the boyfriends who love her more or less than she deserves, who adore her or break her heart. By the time she’s in her late twenties, Hannah has finally figured out what she wants most–but she doesn’t yet know whether she’ll find the courage to go after it.

Full of honesty and humor, The Man of My Dreams is an unnervingly insightful and beautifully written examination of the outside forces and personal choices that make us who we are.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Curtis Sittenfeld

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Curtis Sittenfeld is the author of The Man of My Dreams and Prep, which was chosen by The New York Times as one of the Ten Best Books of 2005. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Salon, Allure, Glamour, and on public radio's This American Life. Her books are being translated into twenty-five languages. www.curtissittenfeld.comFrom the Hardcover edition.
 
Published May 16, 2006 by Random House. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Man of My Dreams

Kirkus Reviews

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As a psychological matter, this is understandable—Hannah really is a world-class sap where Henry is concerned—but, at the formal level, it’s disappointing.

Mar 15 2006 | Read Full Review of The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

The New York Times

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Hannah gets swept away on a madcap trip to Cape Cod to rescue Fig, her cousin, who is more fun than Hannah.

May 18 2006 | Read Full Review of The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

The New York Times

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Curtis Sittenfeld's second novel rejects the allure of old money, breeding and glamour.

May 21 2006 | Read Full Review of The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

The Guardian

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The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld Picador £12.99, pp272 With her second novel, Curtis Sittenfeld is cornering the market in a certain kind of teenage angst.

Aug 13 2006 | Read Full Review of The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

The Guardian

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One of the strong feelings one has about Hannah, and about Lee, her predecessor in Prep, is that the solution to their alienation from life is not in the living of it - at least, not simply in love and family - but in writing.

Sep 02 2006 | Read Full Review of The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

A writer this articulate could stand to exorcise these ghosts as quickly as possible, and spend her considerable gifts telling stories of people — fully formed, complex, perhaps even welcoming people — who deserve our attention.

May 17 2006 | Read Full Review of The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

20Something Reads

It goes without saying that her open relationship with Oliver is a bust --- his frequent infidelities (approved by Hannah, mind you) are downright nauseating and make Hannah look pathetic --- and her non-relationship relationship with Henry is just as detrimental to Hannah's confidence, if not mo...

| Read Full Review of The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

The Sydney Morning Herald

Rowling for Hogwarts, not Harry, Curtis Sittenfeld's first novel, Prep, was that rare treat - a boarding school novel for grown-ups.

Jul 01 2006 | Read Full Review of The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Phoebe Flowers Philadelphia Inquirer 1 of 5 Stars "It’s not that the reader can’t sympathize when Hannah makes mistakes—and she makes some big ones, like allowing an older man to get her drunk at an office party, and letting a sex addict convince her that his side dalliances have no impact o...

Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

New York Magazine

When you curl up with a book called The Man of My Dreams, knowing it was written by the woman whose first novel, Prep (published only last year), has become an instant classic—a Catcher in the Rye for modern-day Phoebes—you assume, pardonably, that you’re in for a few hours of highly shareable ro...

Jun 05 2006 | Read Full Review of The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

The Austinist

The follow up to her surprise smash, Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld's The Man of My Dreams (TMoMD), is a similar meditation on awkwardness that tracks its protagonist, Hannah Gavener, from the trauma of her parents' divorce at age 14 to her realistic, and not too overdue, epiphany at age 28.

May 24 2006 | Read Full Review of The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

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