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The Dust That Falls from Dreams

(The Dust That Falls from Dreams #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  4,664 ratings  ·  695 reviews
In the brief golden years of King Edward VII’s reign, Rosie McCosh and her three sisters are growing up in an idyllic and eccentric household in Kent, with their ‘pals’ the Pitt boys on one side of the fence and the Pendennis boys on the other. But their days of childhood innocence and adventure are destined to be followed by the apocalypse that will overwhelm their world ...more
Hardcover, 1st, 528 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Pantheon (first published July 2nd 2015)
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Murray By all means. But there are better stories to explore the horrors of WWI: Read All Quiet on the Western Front or Testament of Youth instead. And for…moreBy all means. But there are better stories to explore the horrors of WWI: Read All Quiet on the Western Front or Testament of Youth instead. And for the description of Post Edwardian England Downton Abbey is loads more fun.(less)

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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  4,664 ratings  ·  695 reviews

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Kevin Ansbro
I say!
Has some sneaky blighter slipped something horrid into Louis de Bernières' cocoa?

I am a huge, huge fan of the great man's work, but this, my erudite friends, is de Bernières on autopilot. This is de Bernières writing while the TV is on in the background.

Make no mistake, there is a truly remarkable story here. Problem is it's buried under reams of self-satisfied tedium.
It's 200 pages too long and should have been edited down. It's as if his starstruck publishing team, on receipt of his
Diane S ☔
Jul 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a hard review for me to write because although it was certainly well written, are as all his books, this is such familiar territory, it has been done many times before. An upper class English family during WWI, their neighbors, a young love that matures, and the effect the war has on all involved. The writing was the best I believe in the air fight and trench segments. Letters sent back home during the fighting. Would have liked to have had a more detailed accounting of the nursing that ...more
Parts are boring and so very conventional. Absolutely nothing new, exactly what you have read in a million other historical fiction books about the First World War. Yet my interest piqued as I watched the effect of the war on the McCosh family – father, mother, four daughters (Rosie, Christabel, Ottilie and Sophie) and their devoted servants (Cookie and Millicent) – as well as their two neighbors, the Pendennis and the Pitts, the first with three and the second with two sons living at home. ...more
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
If you’re like me, and have an interest in late 1800’s-early 1900’s England that borders on obsession (or if you just like a well-written story), then you will definitely enjoy Louis de Bernières’ latest novel, The Dust That Falls From Dreams.

The only way I can possibly describe this novel, is that it is like a sweep of a paintbrush with every colour imaginable. Covering all aspects of life before, during, and after World War One, de Bernières paints a picture that is both beautiful and
Sean Smart
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story and a very moving one, with a hint (or a reminder) of Downton Abbey about it.
Mairin Delaney
Jul 03, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I've wasted the last three weeks of my life reading this utterly boring, pointless, overly-long book. It was particularly disappointing since I loved Captain Corelli's mandolin so much. This book had so much potential - small things would happen throughout the book and I would finally feel a twinge of excitement, thinking the story was finally starting to get going, but then it fall flat again. A book of great potential, one that was never realised unfortunately....I will not be ...more
This story centres around the McCosh family, an ordinary English family with four daughters and a batch of servants living a comfortable life in the start of the 20th century. It follows their lives and those of their friends and neighbours through WWI and beyond into the rebuilding of a post-war England. Much of what happens to the McCosh's and their friends was being re-enacted all over Europe. The young men going to war, some dying, some returning maimed in body or soul, the women finding ...more
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This won't be my favourite of de Bernieres stories but it was still a good read with some moving and emotional scenes. One thing de Bernieres does really well is tell people's stories, especially during war time and this was no exception. We follow the lives of the McCosh family and those close to them during WWI and the aftermath. I struggled a little to become totally immersed in these people's lives but there were a few that I warmed to. Hamilton McCosh, the father, with his Scottish lilt and ...more
Jun 22, 2015 rated it liked it
A few chapters in, I was bored and frustrated with the same-old-same-old Horrors of the Great War and twee upstairs/downstairs relationships. And then de Bernieres, as he usually does, grabbed me gently by the throat and refused to let go. After page 200, I LOVED this novel and all its quirky characters and their adventures and romances. Delightful.
switterbug (Betsey)
Jul 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Love and loss on an intimate scale against the expansive backdrop of war, and the inner life of characters, is a particular interest of mine, especially when combined with exceptional writing. Although I haven't read Corelli's Mandolin, I was predisposed toward this book by the description of its contents. At first, the whimsical style bothered me, as the narrative dizzyingly described the death of Queen Victoria and the coronation of Edward VII, and jumped to the McCosh family. But, I stuck ...more
Suanne Laqueur
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I read Corelli's Mandolin and discovered de Bernières, I was writing a little newsletter called Book Nook News. It had a following of about 12 people and it was all done on snail mail. My mother-in-law kept all the copies. Anyway, I distinctly remember my review saying it was one of the best books I'd ever read, but I didn't return to de Bernières until now. His writing didn't disappoint. The depiction of war and his brilliant storytelling through wonderful characters. Nobody depicts the ...more
MaryannC. Book Freak
I can see where some thought this book was a bit mundane, but I thought it was quite a lovely read. It was like the chronicles of two families during the onset of World War 1 and how it all affected them. Other characters were interspersed in the story, but their stories were sometimes short chapters that didn't bog down the storyline. Sometimes the book tells what a particular character would be doing or feeling, I found that this gave me a sense of what it was like to be going through war with ...more

Description: In the brief golden years of King Edward VII’s reign, Rosie McCosh and her three sisters are growing up in an idyllic and eccentric household in Kent, with their ‘pals’ the Pitt boys on one side of the fence and the Pendennis boys on the other. But their days of childhood innocence and adventure are destined to be followed by the apocalypse that will overwhelm their world as they come to adulthood.

For Rosie, the path ahead is full of challenges: torn between her love for two young
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
Another masterpiece written by Louis de Bernieres.

This is the story of the McCosh family which has 4 daughters and their childhood neighbors: daughter Rosie is the childhood of Ashbridge. When Ash decides to enlist and the destiny will change their future.

The plot starts in the beginning of the 20th century under King Edward VII reign. With the outbreak of World War One, the lives of these families will change forever.

In the meantime the author describes how the pre and pos war periods have
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely gorgeous storytelling, I'm always emotionally invested in this author's characters and amused, horrified, smitten and on tender hooks by turns. Absolutely recommended.
Tedious. LdeB has succeeded in writing the most boring fictional account of life during WWI I have ever read. I gave up halfway through as life is too short to waste on boring books. The opening chapters were so promising too.
Aug 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Louis, Louis, Louis!!! Last night I walked out of a film made by my ex-fave Japanese director Hirokazu Koreada. I have loved his films but the later ones have been less wonderful and this one was terrible. I’m very upset by this. How could a man who made Nobody Knows and Afterlife also create the twee awfulness of ‘Our Little Sister’? He showed such a powerful understanding of family relationships in the earlier films. And so I thought of Louis de Bernieres this morning. His decline is not of ...more
Gumble's Yard
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
The book seems a strange combination of influences – Sarah Waters(lesbian relationships, spiritualism), Jane Austen (four unmarried sisters, a jolly father and domineering mother), Downton Abbey (with the interaction with servants and the liberalisation post war, even with the family dog and death of fiancées), Sebastian Faulks (first world war horror mixed with romance), even some colonial parts towards the end.

As a result it feels like an unfocused mishmash at times but nevertheless is an
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read the original review and more at Shaina Reads!

Disclaimer: I received this ARC through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program for review consideration. Thank you to Goodreads and Knopf Doubleday/Pantheon for the chance to read it!

I love it when a book surprises you. When I first started The Dust That Falls From Dreams, I worried that I was in for a bit of a slog. I like historical fiction well enough, but more than 500 pages about the nitty-gritty of the First World War and its
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: a, historical-fiction
I liked this book very much, but it's rather difficult to put my finger on the exact reasons. I listened to the audiobook, beautifully read, and took my time about it. Without relating the story and cover blurb, it basically tells the tale of a family of 4 girls and the 5 boys living nextdoor to them, all great pals before World War I, and the profound repercussions of the war on their lives afterwards.

It is an era I am particularly fond of in fiction, probably because my much-loved grandparents
Feb 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
Uneccesarily long and drawn out. I really really wanted to like this book; unfortunately I really really couldn't. It's unusual for me to not finish reading something - and I hate to do it - but once my eyes began impatiently skim-reading I knew I just had to put it down and move on.
Neil Fox
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
The golden years of idyllic, blissful, carefree tranquillity of middle-class Edwardian England are swept away by the horrors, death and suffering on the Western front in this, Louis de Bernieres novel of a family of 4 girls sandwiched between neighboring families of boys at the outbreak of World War 1. Ultimately from the grief and sorrow springs forth regeneration and renewal.

The plot is simpler and the style significantly less complex than de Berniere's classic "Captain Corelli's Mandolin";
Jun 18, 2015 marked it as to-be-read-pile
Shelves: won, hf-to-read
An advanced copy of this showed up in the mail today - I won a copy and didn't even know it. Now to find the time to read it! :)
Kate Z
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. I hoped to like it so much more. This is one of those books where so many outside factors - aside from the particulars of the novel itself - affected my appreciation of it. I think the age of Downton Abbey affects my reading of this novel. Where at one point I felt like I wanted to know more about this milieu, this novels feels - in some part - like a Downton Abbey redux which is a shame. There is the same Edwardian backdrop, the tension ...more
Chantal Lyons
Jul 04, 2015 rated it liked it
I had an interesting relationship with this book. Getting into it was difficult, with the narrative jumping erratically around between characters and events, before it settled into a middle that was moving and compelling. But the last third threw me out again - the pacing was lost and the story spent a long time deciding what it should do. I found myself continually looking away and feeling like putting it down. At the very least the book should have been edited down more so that it focused only ...more
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Actually, I would give this 4 1/2 stars. I did think it started out rather slowly and I almost gave up, but am happy that I didn't follow the "50-page rule." I read it because I loved Corelli's Mandolin, plus I'm a sucker for beautifully worded titles. Can you think of more beautiful way to combine words than "the dust that falls from dreams"?

And indeed that's what this book is about. An idyllic childhood in pre-World War I England turned to dust by that war. Three families live together in a
Aug 24, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I gave up on page 65. Massive disappointment. I love de Bernieres' books, especially the early, slightly crazy ones (set in fictitious Latin American countries). And I was really looking forward to this one, because the topic interested me. But the way the story is told is simply ennervating. I can't quite put my finger on it but it was like reading something that had been written in fast-forward mode and never stopped for long enough to allow you to step into the story. The narrative seems ...more
Angela Oliver
"The Dust that Falls from Dreams" is an epic family saga, spanning from England's Golden years, through the turbulent times of World War II and its aftermath. It follows the fates and fortunes of one family - the McCosh's and their four daughters, intermingling with those of their childhood friends. Friends whose innocence was lost to the war.

Our main heroine is Rosie McCosh, engaged at age twelve to noble and sincere Ashbridge. It is war that separates them, and war that makes her a widow
May 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is a classic case of a story dragged out unnecessarily. The first half was an enjoyable if a little bland read. If it had finished at about 300 pages it would have been a middling to good read but as it dragged on, the characters became more and more clichéd, the humour disappeared and I found myself not caring what happened to them. I forced myself to read on, hoping that I would be rewarded with an intriguing plot twist or just something occurring, but it essentially ended with "and ...more
Jayne Charles
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was looking forward to this so much - you can almost guarantee certain things from certain authors once you've read enough of their work, and when reading a Louis de Bernieres novel you can guarantee a forensic level of research and an entertaining plot that goes where others don't dare. Well the research was certainly there, but what a dull read this turned out to be. I can't believe I ended up speed reading, but there it is. It seemed as though the plot, such as it was, was driven entirely ...more
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Novelist Louis de Bernières was born in London in 1954. He joined the army at 18 but left after spending four months at Sandhurst. After graduating from the Victoria University of Manchester, he took a postgraduate certificate in Education at Leicester Polytechnic and obtained his MA at the University of London.

Before writing full-time, he held many varied jobs including landscape gardener,

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The Dust That Falls from Dreams (2 books)
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“She was beginning to understand that it is not enough to love someone deeply; you also have to learn to love them well.” 2 likes
“Christmas is such a trial,’ said Mrs McCosh. ‘I do most sincerely wish the Lord had been born at some other time.” 1 likes
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