Sunday 12 July 2015

The Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernières

Delightful and stirring, The Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernières is a witty and touching historical war novel which is beautifully mounted and will no doubt be a hit with readers worldwide. The story starts in the year 1902 at the home of a successful Scottish entrepreneur and inventor, Hamilton McCosh, who lives with his snobbish wife and four young daughters - Rosie, Christabel, Ottilie and Sophie. The McCoshes are great friends and close neighbors to the Pitts and the Pendennises. The Pitts are a family who have witnessed great tragedy. Initially a family of six, the father and two sons died leaving behind a widowed mother and her two sons, Archie and Daniel. The Pendennises have three boys Sydbey, Albert and Ashbridge.

As the novel opens with a garden party at The Grampians, which is the home of the McCoshes, you can’t help but notice that twelve-year-old Rosie McCosh and Ashbridge Pendennis have something going between them which is much deeper than the family friendship. Madly in love, they promised each other they will become married when they grow up. But as the drumbeats of war grew louder, it soon became apparent that their idyllic life will come to a grinding halt. Ash enlisted to serve with the Honourable Artillery Company, and before leaving for France, formally solemnised his engagement to Rosie, who also volunteers to become a member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment working in Southampton. Author Louis de Bernières also brilliantly followed Daniel Pitt as he joined the Royal Flying Corps.

The Dust That Falls from Dreams is a story of friendship, love, family, war and tragedy. Brilliantly narrated through different voices, both in the first and third person, it is a story filled with grief, hope, and uncertainty, and vividly portrayed the horrors of war. Readers will also be quick to notice the irony surrounding the three families. While the Pitts and Pendennises have only sons, the McCoshes have only daughters. This sweeping novel which spans many countries and covering a period of more than two decades will capture the imagination of readers, and will undoubtedly be a runaway success.


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