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Dreaming Sophia

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Dreaming Sophia is a magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture. It is a story about turning dreams into reality and learning to walk the fine line between fact and fantasy. When tragedy strikes, Sophia finds herself alone in the world, without direction and fearful of loving again. With only her vivid imagination to guide her, she begins a journey that will take ...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published August 17th 2016 by Matta Press
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Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dreaming Sophia is a fantastical and charming coming-of-age tale of a young and lively dreamer who finally follows her calling to study art in Florence. Filled with artistic and cultural references of well-known Italian icons in Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Modern Art as well as music and cinema with the alluring Sophia Loren, after whom the main character is named, readers will get their fill of Italy and its language.

Sophia suffers a tragedy early on in her story. Her deep grief along wi
Erik Zidowecki
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was thrilled to receive my copy of "Dreaming Sophia: Because Dreaming is an Art" by Melissa Muldoon, for I had read the description and it reached out to me.

First of all, the book itself is absolutely beautiful. Melissa is a graphic artist and she made sure that every centimeter of the cover is artistically delightful.

The contents are no less captivating and finely crafted. The story is about a young American woman named Sophia (named by her mother after the Italian film star, Sophia Loren)
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I fell in love with Dreaming Sophia! My time in Italy when I was sixteen was magical, Italy has this way of drawing you in with its culture, history and people. The streets are alive with history at every corner and instead of hiding it, history is embraced and celebrated. The art in Italy is incredible - I could have spent days just wandering around the cities I visited. You want to touch the walls, visit every Church and just sit in the streets to embrace every moment.

In Dreaming Sophia, we ha
Leonide Martin
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Readers who enjoy all things Italian will find this a delightful and entertaining book. College student Sophia is rocked to her core by the accidental deaths of both parents. Slowly she muddles through grief, finding solace in her mother's long love affair with Italy. The Italian connections continue drawing her ever closer, until she embarks on a journey there to study art in Florence. Once arrived, Sophia awakens her own passion for the art, culture, history, architecture, and people of Floren ...more
Reader Views
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (01/17)

Author Melissa Muldoon presents spellbinding artistic expression in her delightful story, “Dreaming Sophia.”

Sophia is without a doubt, a dreamer. Yet when tragedy strikes, grief takes over, as young Sophia finds herself alone, fearful, and uncertain of the future. It takes some time, but with a little hope and inspiration, she picks herself up, and returns to school to pursue her master’s degree in painting. Soon life begins anew as she starts dati
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My love for Italian culture stemmed from reading plenty of fiction which was based in that country. This book is the epitome of my Italian fantasy. The story line is quite simple and doesn’t have much to go on so to say, but the narration and characterization is way too good.
Our protagonist Sophia succumbs to the sorrow of losing her parents. Having raised by a mother who loved the Italian culture, Sophia connects with her mother’s Italian muses and heads on a path of self-recovery. She goes to
Kathleen Kelly
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dreaming Sophia What a fun book! Dreaming Sophia's protagonist, Sophia, is a young woman who is an aspiring artist and is passionate about Italy. She is away at college and her parents are in Rome on a second honeymoon. She receives devasting news that the plane that her parents were on bringing them home has crashed and both parents have died in the crash.
Sophia is so upset by the news that she virtually hides away, still going to classes but just kind of living inside of herself and her dream
Jessica Russell
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dreaming Sophia was one of those unusual books you come across from time to time and instantly say to yourself “this is definitely an author I want to follow.” What was so unique about this book is that not only were the characters interesting and multidimensional, the story was not only about one thing: it was about traveling, art, culture, and how our minds and hearts work during times of grief, as well as during times of joy.

When Sophia’s parents died, I could feel her pain and anger and fru
Nov 27, 2017 added it
I love Melissa's book Dreaming Sophia, now more than ever I want to travel to Italy and experience some of the wonderful places Melissa's mentioned in her book. Great job Melissa, can't wait for Waking Isabella !
Aimee Ann
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Dreaming Sophia is one of the most exciting, moving, and inspiring women/contemporary fiction novels I have read in a long time! Dreaming Sophia is quite frankly a novel I am in love with thanks to the numerous themes and even genres laced throughout the book. Dreaming Sophia is a gem of a read because it combines many compelling themes that are all expertly blended and weaved together by the fantastic author Melissa Muldoon! That is why I already have to recommend you lovely readers have a read ...more
Kat Kennedy
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sophia Dreaming by Melissa Muldoon is a love song written to Italy. The novel incorporates magical realism, romance, travel, and art history, all blended into a story of devastating loss and the human capacity to overcome tragedy. Sophia, named for the Italian actress, Sophia Loren, has heard about Italy her entire life. Her mother, an artist, had lived in Italy when she was young and had encouraged Sophia to travel to Italy. As a child, Sophia’s mother had surrounded Sophia with the culture, th ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Magical read!

Dreaming Sophia is a magical book that transcends time and imagination. The book starts with a tragedy. Sophia learns her parents died in a plane crash. This sends her down a spiral of sorrow. She isn't sure how she can ever be the same again.

When the grief lifts she has a renewed mission to visit the place her mother loved the most: Italy. Along the way, she meets incredible characters from history​ who interact with her in their past which impacts her present day. Is it real or i
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is clear that the author has a strong affinity with Italy as love for the country shines through. It takes the form of a newly bereaved Sophia finding solace in the Art, history, philosophy, music and poetry of Italy, guided by spirits of the famous. I loved the descriptions and Sophia's story even if the dreamlike quality of the apparitions was a little harder to find credible. Nevertheless, if you want to eat, sleep and breathe Italy then this is the book for you. It is also especially help ...more
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I got this book because I've been to Italy growing up so many times I just love it and I was super excited to read about the wonderful country I haven't visited in six years. And, oh my gosh, I need to book a trip again. I loved this book.

Melissa does justice to my memory and an amazing country. She brings Italy to life in such a vibrant way you can't help but fall in love. The way she blends in the culture, language, world building is superbly done.

The story is about a young American woman na
Caitlynn Akin
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful novel that will transport you into the life of a young artist, Sophia, trying to find her place in the world. It is a delightful tale of love, loss, and so much more. Following her journey of self-discovery, you will travel through Sophia’s dreams (and reality) from the serene wine country of California to the historical, culture filled piazzas of Italy. Melissa Muldoon does a fantastic job at providing the reader insights into Italian culture, art, and historical muses. Soph ...more
Rita Paschoalin
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dreaming Sophia is a book about dreams, the power of art and the search for one's true self. And, of course, it is a book about a girl's love for Italy, for its culture ans its language. I particularly like the fact that Sophia's journey is about what really defines her, rather than a blind search for love and acceptance. For anyone interested in Italian art history, Dreaming Sophia is a delight. I tend to think it is most suitable for young readers, but I've had my good moments reading it as we ...more
Shelly Riley
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Melissa Muldoon's Dreaming Sophia is a beautiful, fanciful tale set in modern day Florence. The author has a lovely way of weaving Florentine Renaissance history and bits of Italian Language and culture into the story line. Many Renaissance historical figures, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, and the Medici Family come alive in this book in a way that allows the reader to appreciate and absorb their contributions, their challenges, and their humanness. If you have been to F ...more
Christine-Marie Dixon
Minor grammar and punctuation issues aside, “Dreaming Sophia” is a spellbinding novel that expertly blends reality and fantasy. The author’s love for Italy and for art shine through in what is clearly a work of passion. Sophia’s journey of self-discovery introduces us to some of the most important figures in Italian history, seamlessly merging the past and present. Engaging characters and vivid descriptions help bring this modern-day fairy tale to life. “Dreaming Sophia” is a charming story for ...more
Liz Fothergill
Apr 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Over the top as a story, but I actually read it to learn a little more Italian culture and language and for that it was great. Learned how some foods got their name, such as tiramisu. Even learned WTF?! Figurati! My favorite expression was “fare scarpetta” which translates literally to “make the little shoe” and refers to scrunching up bread to soak up sauce or clean your plate. It also mentions that this is fine to do at home, but is considered rude in a nice restaurant.
Carly-Rae London
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A book where a city I've never been is brought to life in a way I never thought possible. Dreaming Sophia is a great read and the characters are even better. I'm a huge fan of character development in stories and this book definitely accomplished that with Sophia especially. Italy is a great backdrop in this book because Melissa does a phenomenal job bringing us a reader into the city!

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Lonielle De Haven
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am in love with this book and Italy! Melissa has beautifully shown her love for La Bella Italia in this wonderful story about making dreams come true. Melissa's detailed storytelling and knowledge about Italy, Italian and Art History will take you on Sophia's unforgettable journey with her. ...more
Amy Rivers
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A beautifully crafted story about a woman who finds love and hope following a great personal tragedy. With Italian history and language interwoven throughout, this book brought me joy. Highly recommend.
Deanna Martinez-Bey
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love the detail in which Melissa Muldoon writes her novels. And her covers are always bright and beautiful!
Gwen A.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Scared? To read a novel? Why? I have a childhood friend whom I love, dearly. Her mother was from Italy and yes, indeed; her IS Sophia. Based on the title alone, the book had a lot to live up to my original Sophia.

Nonetheless, I really liked this book. If such a Sophia exists, I would love to have her be my best friend. I loved how book wove the Italian language throughout the novel; a brilliant idea. The explanations of the differences in artistic expressionist periods and the font with the acc
Jeremy Michael Gallen
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This realistic fiction novel, narrated by character Sophia Loren, is dedicated to the author’s parents and husband, who in her words inspired her creativity and “gave her wings to fly,” with an initial illustration depicting the protagonist surrounded by Italian luminaries such as Michelangelo, and history playing a significant role in the book. The novel is further divided into parts reflecting a portion of history, the first being antiquity, referring to classical civilizations. Tragedy strike ...more
Angela Thompson
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dreaming Sophia guides readers through the Italian culture. While the author takes readers on a fictional quest as the main character finds her path in life--the realistic novel guides readers through the history and culture of Italy. Readers will meet artists and writers, historical figures and film legends as Sophia allows her dreams to guide her through her days.

Readers will find beauty (and hope) on nearly every page. Even through Sophia's early struggles and loss--she shares her love of the
Debra Schoenberger
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Can you learn history through fantasy? It certainly felt like that as I read Dreaming Sophia. I’m a history and art buff and didn’t realize how much I would enjoy reading this fantasy / novel. Sophia’s muses really make Italian history “come to life” and their inclusion added an unusual dimension to her story. The interaction between her “dream characters” was clever. On several occasions her “muses” moved me to put down the book and do more research into their lives. I was also interested in th ...more
Melissa W
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I reviewed this book for Italy Book Tours. You can find the original review at

Despite it taking me a little bit to get a rhythm going with the book, I really enjoyed the book. I quite enjoyed how Sophia was drawn and how her character went about her journey and how it wasn't as clear cut as I expected it to be. What really captured me as a reader, is how Sophia was able to find her way without her parents by her side (I’m not really spoiling anything here, trust m
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a very inspirational book to read

I am not an artist but Dreaming Sophia is such a very inspirational book to read. My daughter K will love reading this book when she is older enough. Just like Sophia, she also loves to draw anything that interest or inspired her.

Reading this book is so educational. You also traveled to Italy and learned new things about this very historic country. You also learned Italian words which until now is hard for me to understand. The book is slow at first but the
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Melissa Muldoon is the author of four novels set in Italy: “Dreaming Sophia”, “Waking Isabella”, “Eternally Artemisia,” and “The Secret Life of Sofonisba.” All four books tell the stories of women and their journeys of self-discovery to find love, uncover hidden truths, and follow their destinies to shape a better future.

“The Secret Life of Sofonisba Anguissola” will be published on December 8th 2

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