Dreamers of the Day
So begins the account of Agnes Shanklin, the charmingly diffident narrator of Mary Doria Russell’s compelling new novel, Dreamers ...more
This book, however, was sorely disappointing. The narrator wasn't terribly interesting and I felt at times like I was reading a history book (which is not a good sign since I do NOT enjoy non-fiction). I did learn a lot about how the events following WWI have ...more
I have to say that this book, by one of my favorite authors (see review of The Sparr ...more
But it was actually really engaging and a lot of fun to read, and even when it got weird (the whole ...more
The narrator is an engaging character, and I liked the way that Russell wove her story with that of the conference. Her decision to make the narrator aware that she is speaking with people in the current time makes it possible for her to highlight differences between her time and o ...more
There she encounters various movers and shakers, such as Winston Churchill and Lawrence of Arabia, in the midst of forming the history and geography of the modern middle east.
While dealing with those times, this book has great relevance to our own times, as we face today's issues and the legacy of those decisions that were made so many decades ago.
What makes ...more
In Dreamers of the Day Mary Doria Russell gives us the story of Agnes Shanklin, observer and unlikely participant in the 1921 Cairo Peace Conference which saw the modern Middle East take shape. If it is possible to pinpoint a moment in time from which to explain the conflicts now raging in the Middle East, it is this one. And if ever you need evidence that Russell is a master story teller, consider this: the narrative traces the threads of conflict in the region today to decisions made at the 19...more
It is the story of a 40-year-old schoolteacher who never married and has just lost all of her family to the great influenza. The novel follows her as she travels to Egypt during the Cairo Peace Conferences and meets some of the most famous people of her day, including Winston Churchill, T.E. Lawrence ("of Arabia"), and Lady Bell Gertrude. She blossoms and finds her own inde ...more
It saddens me, because normally, Russell is an author of superb ability and almost sublime quality, whose books I can read, reread, reread again, and then randomly reread till they're quite worn out. She is that author which I shove copies of into the hands of friends, acquaintances, random classmates, teachers, people in line in the store... What have you. Display the remotest shred of interest in borrowing a book from me and, chance ...more
1. The history in this book covers events that I knew very little about - the 192 ...more
Mary Doria Russell, the author of one of my favorite novels, "The Sparrow," ...more
One of the things I like most about Russell is that her books are not all cookie cutters of each other as is the case with many authors. Each of her books has a unique feel and perspective, often unsettling at first when you go in expecting something resembling a previous work of hers.
Dreamers of the Day is a novel primarily set in the Middle East in the years just after World War I. The Cairo peace conference is underway as Europeans decide how the Middle East is to be carved up. 'Better to not ...more
The first two parts of this book were delightful: Woodrow Wilson, Gertrude Bell, T.E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill, Faisal, Ibn Saud and other figures of the early 20th Century walk on and off the stage in a way that makes them, and the events, more memorable than any history textbook ever could, despite the use of a dachshund as a plot device.
The third part? Well - no sp ...more
She doesn't. In fa ...more
I must s ...more
She holds a Ph.D. in Paleoanthropology from the University of Michigan, and has also studied cultural anthropology at the University of Illinois, and social anthropology at Northeastern Univer ...more