The Sweetest Dream by Doris Lessing
A Novel

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Frances Lennox ladles out dinner every night to the motley, exuberant, youthful crew assembled around her hospitable tableher two sons and their friends, girlfriends, ex-friends, and ftesh-off-the-street friends. It's the early 1960s and certainly "everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds." Except financial circumstances demand that Frances and her sons Eve with her proper ex-mother-in-law. And her ex-husband, Comrade Johnny, has just dumped his second wife's problem child at Frances's feet. And the world's political landscape has suddenly become surreal beyond imagination....

Set against the backdrop of the decade that changed the world forever, The Sweetest Dream is a riveting look at a group of people who dared to dream-and faced the inevitable cleanup afterward -- from one of the greatest writers of our time.


About Doris Lessing

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Born in Kermanshah, Persia (later Iran) on October 22, 1919, Doris Lessing grew up in Rhodesia (the present-day Zimbabwe). Her father was an amputee due to injuries received in World War I and, and her mother had treated his war injuries. As a child, Lessing explored the rural Rhodesian landscape, occasionally hunting small animals. While working as an au pair and a telephone operator in Salisbury, Rhodesia, Lessing read such authors as Chekhov and Tolstoy, refined her writing skills, and married twice. During her two marriages, she submitted short fiction and poetry for publication and, after moving to London in 1949 with her son, Peter, Lessing published her first novel, The Grass is Singing, in 1950. This work treated apartheid/racial issues that existed in Rhodesia at that time. She would go on to explore the individual's--women's in particular--relationship to society in many types of experimental fiction thereafter. Lessing has published many solid short-story collections but is perhaps best known for her 1954 Somerset Maugham Award-winning experimental novel The Golden Notebook. She has received numerous awards for her work including the 2001 Prince of Asturias Prize in Literature, the David Cohen British Literature Prize, and the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature. Lessing has also had a lifelong interest in such topics as Marxism, telepathy, and social psychology.
Published March 17, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 496 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Horror, Arts & Photography. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The several stories that develop from such contrasts are rather inelegantly cobbled together, but Lessing is after bigger game than narrative unity: The Sweetest Dream is an anatomy of women’s lives throughout the postwar period, and it comes unforgettably alive in notably detailed explorations o...

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The Guardian

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There are echoes here of Iris Murdoch's later novels - an unhappy epoch when a vast array of indistinguishable characters filled the Dame's unedited pages with their hellishly inconsequential philosophising.

Sep 21 2001 | Read Full Review of The Sweetest Dream: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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The house is owned by Frances's well-heeled German-born ex-mother-in-law, Julia, who tolerates Frances's slovenly presence out of guilt for past neglect and a shared aversion for Julia's son, Johnny Lennox, deadbeat dad and flamboyant, unregenerate Communist.

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Entertainment Weekly

In depicting the restless, raucous group (with sensible Frances as its stable foil), Lessing reveals humanity's darkest side: It's not sweeping brutality that keeps us from grace, but a swarming, ambitious pettiness.

Mar 08 2002 | Read Full Review of The Sweetest Dream: A Novel

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