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Memory and Dream (Newford #2)

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4.22  ·  Rating details ·  4,507 Ratings  ·  246 Reviews
Visionary artist Isabelle Copley could paint images so real they brought her dreams to life. But when the results brought tragedy to those she loved, she turned her back on it all. Now, twenty years later, Isabelle must come to terms with her dark memories and unlock the power of her brush.
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Published October 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published August 23rd 1994)
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Jim Leckband Yes, this can be read before without affecting your experience of "Dreams Underfoot" (DU). And DU is not at all required for this one. There are…moreYes, this can be read before without affecting your experience of "Dreams Underfoot" (DU). And DU is not at all required for this one. There are characters and places in "Memory and Dream" (MD) that are in DU, but when they came up in MD it was like "Hey, I know a little bit about that" and not like anything depended on my knowing it.

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Community Reviews

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Lila
Memory and Dream is richly layered, deep and thought provoking, yet at the same time captivating and enthralling.
Like so many of De Lint's novels, it's rooted in reality and the magic is hidden at first. This enables the reader to get drawn into the story and experience the magic in the same way the protagonists are experiencing it. The end effect is that the supernatural elements seem believable.
This story starts out in the early 90s as the reclusive painter Isabelle Copley receives a letter
...more
Arielle Walker
3.5
I adore Charles Lint, Newford, all the characters that fill it - everything about his world.
I just think sometimes the "magic" of his writing is a little hit and miss. Unfortunately this was the case with Memory and Dream. Parts of it mesmerised, and these parts I would happily give five full stars and claim perfection. Other parts felt overly preachy, tell not show, this is what you should feel because people are awful etc etc.

Still, the perfect moments are there, the plot is interesting and
...more
Arielle Walker
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Charles de Lint is always a pleasure to read - but it's a pleasure that takes full measure of the darkness that hides in the depths of his stories.

Here it's not hiding: that darkness is in plain view.

I don't know why I didn't remember this when coming back to Memory and Dream - but it's a harder read than even The Onion Girl. In fact, moments of this border almost on horror, though the magic does win out.

I'd also forgotten that this is one of the patchier pieces of his writing, possibly due to
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Ben Babcock
I don’t pay much attention to blurbs on book covers. The worst one are when the publisher has cherry-picked a list of adjectives from someone’s review, as if hearing that the New York Times thought a book is “inspiring, powerful, thought-provoking” is going to make me want to read it any more or less. Blurbs have little substance and are not helpful. Most of the time. But I’m going to start off by quoting the Library Journal blurb on the front cover of my edition of Memory & Dream:

De Lint mo
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Greg Hamerton
Mar 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: artists, creatives and wizards of all kinds
This story had a deep impact on me. It opens with an innocent sketch in a town square; it soon becomes a deeply engaging study of the act of creation and the mind of an artist.

If I took out my editor’s pencil, I’d only be able to mark one paragraph in the entire book, where a minor character is granted a bit too much page space to rant about his over-intellectualised opinions of art. It is in character though. And that’s it. The single tiny flaw I was aware of, if flaw it is. I mention it only t
...more
Stephen
4.5 stars. Beautifully written, with superbly drawn characters and a very original fantasy element. Loved it. Highly recommended.
Jackie "the Librarian"
Jun 19, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jackie "the Librarian" by: Amanda
Shelves: fantasy, adultfiction
Okay, this is one of those books that jumps back and forth from the past to the present day. I guess that fits with the "memory" part of the title.

So far, Isabelle has received a letter that got lost in the mail for five years, mailed by her friend Kathy right before she died. That same day, she is contacted by mutual friend Alan about illustrating a book of Kathy's short stories.
But there's something weird going on with Isabelle, and with her art...

**********************Final review, with spoil
...more
Zanna
Aug 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zanna by: Lila
Shelves: bechdel-pass
3.5 stars

It's been a long time since I read a book like this and initially I found the image-laden realistic description style clunky, feeling that far fewer words were needed to express the ideas on offer. I was soon sucked into the story though, and after a while I realised my reading experience was very similar to watching a film, which was fun.

I found this a quick and easy read, a little cheesy and artificial, but emotionally intense and very absorbing. I enjoyed the tropes - the bohemian qu
...more
Jim Leckband
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What if your art became reality? What are your responsibilities to that new reality? Isabelle is a painter that falls under the spell of her new mentor, Rushkin - a troll of a man that makes astonishing paintings. She learns how to extend her gift to such a degree that the subjects come to life (not a spoiler).

While navigating this dream/reality world, Isabelle finds out that there is a yin and yang to this stuff. And this is where de Lint shines - he is not afraid of making the hard choices in
...more
Leah
Jun 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, magical
I really wanted a fantasy book to read, something I could lose myself in now that the weather's turned grey and rainy, and in that sense, this book didn't disappoint.

It was easy to lose myself in Newford (although, knowing nothing about de Lint's world, I kept wondering if it was a real place or not) and in its arts scene he lovingly describes. It was also easy to lose myself in the community of characters, a kind of fantasy in itself, I suppose. These were all enjoyable things to read, and imm
...more
April Schultz
I have a soft spot for Charles de Lint. He has a way of writing urban fantasy that doesn't feel like urban fantasy. It feels like literature. It is expansive, the ideas are greater than the book itself, the thematic elements linger with the reader long after the last page is read.

Memory and Dream is no exception. I read a review of this a few days ago that stated that the main character Izzy/Isabelle is not a sympathetic character. I find that incredibly hard to believe. The moment I started re
...more
Dorian
Nov 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
1992. Isabelle is a successful and respected artist when her slightly reclusive life is interrupted, first by the arrival of a letter from her dearest friend, dead these five years, and then by another friend, wanting her to illustrate an anthology of the dead friend's short stories.
1973. Izzy is a naive art student when she meets Vincent Rushkin, one of the greatest living painters of her age, and he takes her on as an apprentice...but Rushkin is controlling, and abusive, and while what he has
...more
Lilia
Jan 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did I say that each Newford book I read, leaves me craving for more?
Such touching characters human and magical, all mixes up in one and brings up memories. Through the characteristics & traits of each the reader can connect to himself, and start thinking of how to become a better person. That's what happened to me anyway. I found this book most familiar to myself and my environment, each page turned personal, but also acknowledgeming.Many quotes were what I thought but never could put correc
...more
Morgan Lewis
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
This may be my favourite book of all time. I am such a fan of Charles De Lint - his characters are so vivid and real, his imagery incredibly evocative, his themes magical and compelling - and this book is absolutely wonderful.

I have lost track of the number of times I have read this book. I've destroyed one copy of it, just by rereading it one too many times, and my current copy (although still readable) is definitely well-loved. I have never read a De Lint book I didn't like - they are all amaz
...more
Myridian
de Lint is always great at combining the mystical and amazing elements of fantasy with a present day reality that speaks to me as a reader. This book is about Isabelle Copeley and her ability to use her art to "bring across" spirits from some mysterious "before." But at a deeper level, this book is about how we perceive reality, the way our perception alters depending on our ability to reinterpret events, and the seductive dangers of allowing this to happen. For all Isabelle's amazing artistic p ...more
Margaret
This is my first de Lint novel, and I have to say, it's one of the best contemporary/urban fantasy novels I've read. Set in the fictional city of Newford, the novel follows the lives of three artists--a painter, a writer, and a publisher--friends and lovers of magic. What I love so much about this novel is how it entwines the trauma of human experience with hope and magic. Though technically the fifth Newford novel, I had no trouble starting with Memory and Dream and will certainly continue with ...more
Allison Hurd
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, man-author
This is probably 3.5 stars. The things that worked well were top notch and the things that worked less well were still okay, just kludgy compared to the mastery in the other areas.

First and foremost, allow me to give a content warning. This book discusses rape, child abuse, and domestic violence quite often and with no context clues to warn you it's about to happen. I will say that it was less exploitative and less graphic than most books that bring it up, for whatever that's worth.

Things I love
...more
Althea Ann
I keep reading de Lint's books, and almost loving them. But I never quite do. I spent some time today thinking about why, and I think it's that, although I like the type of people he tends to feature as characters, and I tend to agree with many of his themes, I think that what he wants to "say" comes before his actual story.
Some books, one feels that the action springs from the characters and who they are - in de Lint's, I feel that he's almost walking them through it.

"Memory and Dream" is about
...more
Juushika
Isabelle is an artist with a unique ability: some of her paintings open a doorway between our world and the otherworld, allowing spirits from the otherworld to enter our. These beings, which she calls her numena, are their own people, with thoughts and feelings of their own. They are also in danger: her mentor, the renowned painter Rushkin who taught her to bring over these beings, poses a threat to both Isabelle and her numena. Events in the present—the publication of her friend Kathy’s posthum ...more
Anita
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
I enjoy fantasy, but do not generally read modern urban fantasy, so Memory and Dream was an unusual book choice. I like to read different genres from time to time to hone my own writing skills. This book takes a unique direction for a fantasy story in that it also explores the theme of abuse against women and children.
I found the settings in the fictional city of Newford descriptive and credible, but the characters in the story less so. I liked the scenes of the Bohemian artistic district of th
...more
Stephanie Swint
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles de Lint explores the boundaries between what is real and what is not on multiple levels in this book. It had many twists and I enjoyed it immensely. Memory and Dream is part of the Newford series, but like the other books in this series it can stand on its own and it is not necessary for it to be read in order. If you have not read any de Lint before; this is a good book to start with. De Lint explores urban fantasy meshing a modern day alternate 1980's America with the fey and Native Am ...more
Dee Martin
I have loved everything I have read by Charles De Lint and this was no exception but for a few tiny problems. It seemed to go on and on. It was slow at the beginning and then the pacing picked up but again at the end it seemed to drag for me. I think this would have been improved with some cutting.

The story takes place in Newfound, a fictional city that is the setting for many of Mr. De Lint's books. Newfound is a place of artists and musicians and magic spills over so that there is a mixture of
...more
Amanda
As the young student of the brilliant Vincent Rushkin, Isabelle Copley discovered she could paint images so real they brought her dreams to life. But when the forces she unleashed brought tragedy to those she loved, she turned her back on her talent - and on those dreams. Now, twenty years later, Isabelle must come to terms with the memories she has long denied, and unlock the power of her brush. And, in a dark reckoning with her old master, she must find the courage to live out her dreams, and ...more
Jessica
I am not sure how I feel about this book. I love the idea that is the essence of this novel: that Isabelle's paintings can bring ancient spirits into this world. And yet... There were some really good parts but there were also way too many -and, a lot of the times, unnecessary- detailed descriptions that I feel slowed down the pace of the story too much. It took me a while to get into it (maybe after page 100) and, even then, I never really cared much about most of the characters, which is a pro ...more
Mark
Sep 21, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This story is primarily about an painter dealing with (a) her ability to perform magic through her painting and (b) her troubles dealing with the negative parts of reality.

[author Charles de Lint] is undoubtedly a fine writer and I like that he doesn't follow the standard fantasy good vs evil tropes. Instead, he writes about ordinary vs evil. The weakness in this is that ordinary people are, well, ordinary. Additionally in this book a lot of story is told in flashbacks, but flashbacks told after
...more
Liz
I would give this 3.5 stars if I could. I enjoyed this book, and found it a fast read, but there were a couple of major things that left me feeling like it could have gone from "enjoyable" to "exceptional" if only they'd been done differently. The biggest thing is that the main character, Isabelle, is presented in a way that I did not find very sympathetic, and I had a lot of difficulty empathizing with her, which made it hard to feel emotionally involved in her story; personally I found myself ...more
Aoife
Jul 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charles De Lint is my favorite author and if I was tied to a chair and forced to declare a favorite story from him it would be Memory and Dream. This book didn't just take root in my personality but I think it stirred up part of my development as an artist. The story itself is a twist filled plot about an artist who learns the skill of bringing to life the characters that she paints - which sounds like buckets of fun right? But then what happens if those newly brought into the world people cease ...more
David
Nov 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles de Lint is quickly becoming the master of romantic urban fantasy. I'm not talking about the hack and slash detective or sparkly vampire stuff that is popular today. It is more like gothic romance of yesteryear with a mixture of Shojo manga meets Native American Spirituality meets the Grim Brothers all wrapped up in 21st century attire. While the tale and the literary tricks employed in Memory and Dream are simplistic the character development and the weave of the tale is like a warm cup ...more
Jess
Aug 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: delint
I absolutely love Charles De Lint's work, and this is probably my favorite of his full-length novels. I've lost track of how many times I've read the book - at least once every couple of years. His plots are definitely in the world of urban fantasy/folklore - and can be pretty far-fetched to the skeptic realists among us. However, I feel that De Lint flirts with the edge of reality - his human characters and settings are all starkly realistic - and once you're in the story, it's easy to almost b ...more
Myrns
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was maybe a bit harsh when I rated this book two stars. I agree with other reviews when they say this is one of those books you want to love real bad but you just don't. I have to admit that it's well written and it could have been an awesome story if shorter. It jumps back and forth so many times it lost me. Also, there were too many unncessary parts and details making the story longer and boring at times. It had lots of great parts but maybe it just wasn't a suitable book for an ADD sufferer ...more
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Urban Fantasy Afi...: April 2017 Group Read: Memory and Dream 5 25 Apr 19, 2017 06:13AM  
Into the Forest: Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint 51 37 Oct 04, 2014 08:41AM  
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Charles de Lint is the much beloved author of more than seventy adult, young adult, and children's books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, Aurora, Sunburst, and White Pine awards, among others. Modern Library's Top 100 Books of the 20th Century poll, conducted by Random House and voted on by readers, put eight of de Lint's b ...more
More about Charles de Lint...

Other Books in the Series

Newford (1 - 10 of 27 books)
  • Dreams Underfoot (Newford, #1)
  • The Ivory and the Horn (Newford, #3)
  • Trader (Newford, #4)
  • Someplace to Be Flying (Newford, #5)
  • Moonlight and Vines (Newford, #6)
  • Forests of the Heart (Newford, #7)
  • The Onion Girl (Newford, #8)
  • Tapping the Dream Tree (Newford, #9)
  • Spirits in the Wires (Newford, #10)
  • Widdershins (Newford, #11)
“The stronger a woman gets, the more insecure the men in her life feel. It doesn’t work that way for a woman. We celebrate strength--in our partners as well as in ourselves.” 215 likes
“I finally figured out that I’m solitary by nature, but at the same time I know so many people; so many people think they own a piece of me. They shift and move under my skin, like a parade of memories that simply won’t go away. It doesn’t matter where I am, or how alone--I always have such a crowded head.” 126 likes
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