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BOOK REVIEW: The Dust That Falls from Dreams

Louis de Bernières brings to life an ‘upstairs/downstairs’ London house in the time of the First World War.
The Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernières

This satisfyingly substantial saga from the author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is set in the years surrounding the First World War.

The focus is on the ‘upstairs/downstairs’ London household of Mr Hamilton McCosh and in particular the eldest of his four daughters, Rosie.

She and her sisters are good friends with the sons of both sets of neighbours, and for Rosie that friendship develops into love. The children reach adulthood as Europe goes to war, which sees the boys set off to serve their country, while the girls are left to cope with changes at home. The families are unable to escape the tragedy of war, and for Rosie this brings emotional challenges as she finds herself torn by her love for two men.

The use of third-person narrative, diary entries and letters gives different perspectives and pulls no punches as we follow the delightfully eccentric characters from Edwardian frivolity to the harsh reality of the trenches and on to post-war readjustments.

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