The House of Dreams

The House of Dreams

Book - 2016
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In 2000, Sophie Cass, an ambitious journalist, may have finally found her big break. Convinced a celebrated painter in the Hamptons is hiding a dark secret, she sets off to unravel the truth about his past. Her research takes her back decades to 1940, as an international group of artists and intellectuals gather at The House of Dreams, a beautiful villa just outside Marseilles where American journalist Varian Fry and his remarkable team are working to help them escape France. Despite the incredible danger they all face, The House of Dreams is a place of true camaraderie and creativity--and the setting of a love affair that changed the course of the painter's life forever. But as Sophie digs further into his past, she begins to wonder whether some secrets are better left untouched.

Inspired by the real-life heroism of Varian Fry and the volunteers who risked their lives to help save legendary figures like Marc Chagall, Hannah Arendt, and Max Ernst, Kate Lord Brown's The House of Dreams is a lyrically told novel of great courage, love, and the power of art.

Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, c2016
ISBN: 9781250084538
1250084539
Branch Call Number: FIC Brow
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 24 cm

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GLNovak
Jul 24, 2016

I'm afraid this book did very little for me. I didn't even finish it. I found the character of Gabriel Lambert to be the only one fleshed out. The others were touched on as if by an orchestra conductor who said 'now your turn but only a few snippets in stilted language so I can move on to the next'. The story is based on Varian Fry and the American Relief Center run during the early days of WWII in Marseilles, an organization with a list of artists that needed passage out of Europe. We learn very little of him other than he is 'a lovely man'. To me the author's dialogue skills are minimal, the development of the plot is choppy and the character portrayal is wooden. Many on GoodReads seem to have really liked this book so you may too, but I'm afraid I can't recommend it.

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