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Dream When You're Feeling Blue

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  7,111 Ratings  ·  1,163 Reviews
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg takes us to Chicago at the time of World War II in this wonderful story about three sisters, their lively Irish family, and the men they love.
As the novel opens, Kitty and Louise Heaney say good-bye to their boyfriends Julian and Michael, who are going to fight overseas. On the domestic front, meat is rationed, children part
ebook, 0 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Random House (first published 2007)
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Jana Anderson
Mar 12, 2008 Jana Anderson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who know little about WW2
Recommended to Jana by: My mom
Okay, it is a nice beach read, but here is my beef with this book.

1) In order to take the reader back to the 1940's WW2 era, they threw in every random fact about life on the home front into this book. (Not actual quote...) "I left my victory garden to go bake the sugarless cake I would be sending to Bud in France for his birthday. I had better bake this cake now so I don't miss Roosevelt's Fireside chat tonight, and I don't want to miss the USO dance tonight either! At the dance I am supposed t
Amy Formanski Duffy
Dec 16, 2009 Amy Formanski Duffy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chicagoans, Historical fiction fans
I picked up this one for our summer reading program. Of course it's fun to read about the city I live in during a different time period. This is Chicago in 1943 during the second world war, when so many young guys were being shipped overseas. Three Irish sisters, Kitty (the glamour girl), Louise (the sensible one), and Tish (the youngest and flirtiest), deal with life at home while their boyfriends go off to fight. Louise is in the most serious relationship. Her boyfriend proposes before he ...more
This book was SUCH a disappointment. I'd heard of the author, kept seeing the book around, and decided to give it a shot. It started out okay and got better as the story moved forward. Some of the period references got old (for example, instead of just mentioning rations, the author went on and on, describing the different ways this affected their lives), but I was willing to overlook that because I was drawn into the lives of the main characters. When I neared the end, I thought how much I was ...more
I like Elizabeth Berg's books, and I didn't plan on reading it because I heard the ending sucked. My grandma liked it and told me I should give a try anyway. She grew up in the era Berg writes about in this book, and told me her mom and stepdad were so happy that she was old enough to qualify for coffee stamps because they couldn't get enough of it. It's hard to imagine having to ration anything, let alone coffee.

After reading it: The ending pissed me off way too much to enjoy it the way I would
Dec 16, 2009 Caroline rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I've enjoyed many of other Elizabeth Berg's novels, which are well-written summer "quick reads" with satisfying endings, but thought that this one was a clunker. The story revolves around three Irish Catholic sisters in Chicago during World War II. Berg's novel shouts, "I did research on World War II -- at the expense of creating a flowing narrative or an interesting plot!" The ending is entirely unbelievable.
Book Concierge
Book on CD read by the author.
2.5 **

From the book jacket: Berg takes us to Chicago at the time of World War II in this story about three sisters, their lively Irish family, and the men they love. As the novel opens, Kitty and Louise Heaney say good-bye to their boyfriends Julian and Michael, who are going to fight overseas. On the domestic front … the Heaney sisters sit at their kitchen table every evening to write letters – Louise to her fiancé, Kitty to the man she wishes fervently would propo
Feb 25, 2009 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quit
Four discs into an 8-disc book, I'm bailing. I gave it a lot of play, because I really like the WWII home front setting, but...

This book was TERRIBLE. It had all the character depth and dialogue truth of Nancy Drew (whom I'm not criticizing, because she is a mid-century series character written for children by multiple people), except with an eccchy Greatest Generation gloss. Every character was a stereotype and every speech was some variation on "Gee whillikers" or "It's a bird! It's a plane!"
Julie Ekkers
Mar 05, 2008 Julie Ekkers rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I've never been over the moon for any Elizabeth Berg book I've read, but sometimes they hit me at the right time and they're the perfect light read. This was not one of those books, and I really wanted it to be. It's set in Chicago, on the home front, during WWII. if nothing else, I expected to like the details that emerge in the background of these types of stories--the music, the dances, the clothes, etc. But those details seemed canned. The story revolves around the three sisters in the Irish ...more
Nov 04, 2007 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, romance
This book takes place in Chicago during WWII and tells the story of 3 sisters who correspond with friends and lovers who have gone to war. Lots of description of what it was like to live in the times and you do get transported into the era.

I actually listened to this book, and glad of it, as there was a lot of description and daydreams that I would have skimmed thru to get to the "meat" of the story if I had read it. At first with the flowery and long descriptions (read surprizingly well by the
Jan 17, 2008 Candice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ellen,Jamie, Elizabeth Berg fans
I listened to this on CD. It was one of the most delightful books I have listened to. Elizabeth Berg narrated it, and she has the perfect voice for this story.

From the moment I began to listen, I was hooked. The story begins with two sisters seeing their boyfriends off to World War II. It made me think, I wonder how my parents felt when my dad left for the war. Although I have thought of him in the war before, I never thought of this aspect of it in quite the same way as the book made me think o
Berg's latest offering of cozy, snuggled-up-with-cocoa reading is a flawed but still beautifully written story of an Irish-American family in Chicago homefront during World War II. The three enchanting Heaney sisters spend every night writing letters to soldiers – stoic Louise to her fiancé Michael, caring Kitty to the man that she hopes will propose, and flirty Tish to the many men she meets at USO dances. The central character is redheaded Kitty, who longs for the cocky Julian to marry her, ...more
Nov 24, 2008 Faydene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to dry my tears to come add this lovely book to my list. It is an engaging story of 3 Irish sisters in Chicago during World War II. Debbie, you will love this book.
Feb 15, 2009 Kaarin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth (Alaska)
The story takes place in Chicago, Illinois in 1943. It centers on an Irish Catholic family - 2 parents, 3 daughters, 3 sons - that lives in a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house. That there was only one bathroom for a household of eight people (think of it!) was important to Kitty, the oldest daughter and narrator of the story. It was the location for numerous "scenes" throughout the book.

This is most definitely a World War II story, but told from the homefront. At first I thought this was only a
Feb 16, 2009 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a great little read. I mean "little" because of the amount of pages, not quality. I have always been interested in the World War II era, and this story made me feel like I was truly there in the moment, writing countless letters to young soldiers fighting in Europe or the Pacific, hoping that my words would lift them from whatever suffering and loneliness they had experienced daily. I loved the writing, the small, distinct storytelling, taking great care in choosing words that ...more
Jul 14, 2008 Annie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Another Elizabeth Berg book-I am really on a streak! It seems as if when I go to the library and I don't really have a book in mind to read-I can wander over to the 'B's' and she always has a book on the shelf. This novel is about the Heaney family during World War II. The Heaney family has 6 children: 3 girls and 3 boys. The book details the struggles of the war at home, saying goodbye to the men they love who are fighting, and the constant letter writing back and forth to one another. It was ...more
Jul 12, 2008 CS rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Not my favorite of her novels. Don't get me wrong; I LOVE her style, her voice, her characters, and the way she writes. I love WHAT she writes, time and again!
The setting in this novel was very realistic in the beginning and middle. what happened during the war was spot-ON, and the characters were amazing. the research the author did for this time-period made me SO happy!
but... the ending was all wrong. there was NO WAY someone would make the decision one of the sisters did, not in real life..
Aug 17, 2009 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, cutesy
I loved this book. It was kind of slow at the start, but once it got moving, I couldn't stay away! The setting is Chicago, during WWII, in the middle of a huge Irish family. All three of the girls in the Heaney family are beautiful, so naturally each of them is writing letters to several soldiers who have gone "over there." These letters, and the details we are able to glean from them about life on the front lines of the war, serve to compliment (or contrast) the things that are going on at th ...more
Apr 16, 2009 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 27, 2014 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
There is no doubt that Berg did her research for this novel. The idioms of the day are right on. I love reading books that take place around WWII and this was no exception. I was enjoying reading about the old movies, the USO dance clubs, the girls writing letters to the soldiers overseas, the rationing at home, what it was like for a Rosie the Riveter -- all the details of the time period. The "letters motif" was interesting and some of the passages were almost poetic - --letters of love, ...more
Nov 24, 2014 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book grabbed me immediately upon reading the description years ago. With that said, the reviews sort of scared me and kept it on my "to read" list for years...I even went as far as checking it out of the library several times, but then changing my mind. It never felt like the right time to read it. Well, I am glad I finally just did it! I was pleasantly surprised! I am glad I read this slice of history and got to experience this family. Yes, the author did try to cram a lot of facts and ...more
I'm normally quite fond of Elizabeth Berg, and I love historical fiction. Throw in that this is based on the American home front during WWII, and it would seem to be tailor-made for me.

Something was missing, however, and I'm not sure I can put my finger on what it was. it seemed as if Berg tried to throw in every tidbit about homefront life in those 280 pages. Rationing, factory work, V-mail; just about everything gets a nod, as if she's ticking boxes. And then there was a portion of the story
Sisters Louise, Tish and Kitty Heaney are living in Chicago during World War II. As Kitty and Louise see their boyfriends off to war, their lives become intertwined and their daily thoughts, chores, and prayers revolve around the war. The girls go to work during the day, USO dances in the evening and their nights are spent writing endless letters to servicemen overseas, as it has become their patriotic duty. Louise longs to see Michael again and loves him more and more with each letter written ...more
I liked this book. There needs to be a 3 1/2 star rating, because it's somewhere between "liked" and "really liked". I thought the story ended rather abruptly... you got the sudden feeling that the author suddenly tried panning out and giving the whole life perspective when she'd been progressing by days and months before that. The story, then, felt somewhat contrived, and you're left guessing on the main character's thoughts when up until that point they'd been fairly explicitly shared with ...more
Given to me by a friend who was cleaning her bookshelf. She was disappointed with the end of this book. So was I. Up until the last 2 chapters, I really loved it, and loved the glimpse into WWI from the home perspective. Fabulous. However, the last two chapters brought me up short-- not in a "gosh-what-a-twist" kind of way, but in a "What the hell was Berg thinking" kind of way. Louise's actions in the 2nd to last chapter are totally out of character. And if the relationship that Kitty has with ...more
Jul 28, 2009 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. One of Berg's better novels. The novel takes place during WW II and revolves around the lives of the Heaney sisters who are three beautiful young girls, and their boyfriends who have gone off to war. Their lives change during this time and thru letters written to their men and the letters they receive in return we get a feeling of what WW II was like. I have to admit that at first i did not like the book. I actually thought it was silly and going nowhere but the more ...more
May 27, 2011 Rachel rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed this book about an Irish-American family of three girls and three boys in the midst of World War Two in Chicago ... until the last few chapters. I won't give it away but dang it, don't build up a story then to have the conclusion fall flat. It is a major disappointment for me as I really enjoy Berg's books. This one? I will have to suggest that if you want to read it ... keep an eye open as it doesn't follow through with the conclusion. Not sure what happened here but something ...more
Feb 20, 2009 Stacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth Berg is a wonderful story teller. This is set in Chicago during WWII and it's an engaging story about three sisters. I couldn't put it down once I began it. I cried, and laughed, and just enjoyed the story. The only thing I didn't like about it was the ending. It seemed rushed, and a bit incongruent with the story. I liked the book a lot, and I definitely still recommend it, but I do wish the ending had been a little more satisfying.
Dec 13, 2008 Kerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and thought often of my grandma who could easily been one of the Heaney sisters. She, too, was the age of these young women during WWII in Chicago. She met my grandfather, a navy man, at one of the USO dances. She and her large Irish-Catholic family must have lived through many of these same things. I am glad however, that her story did not end up in quite the same way.
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Forsyth County Pu...: December Book Discussion 1 8 Nov 21, 2015 12:28PM  
Elizabeth Berg/Anne Tyler, Compare/Contrast 1 18 Jul 07, 2012 09:02AM  
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Elizabeth Berg is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including We Are All Welcome Here, The Year of Pleasures, The Art of Mending, Say When, True to Form, Never Change, and Open House, which was an Oprah’s Book Club selection in 2000. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year, and Talk Before Sleep was short-listed for the ABBY Award in 1996. The w ...more
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