"This is a novel of tragedy and love told on the landscape of World War I. The McCoshes have four daughters and they are neighbors to an American family called the Pendennis and their three sons. One of the sons proposes to Rosie McCosh before he enlists in the war, along with all his brothers. To say very little, the tragedy strike particularly hard on both families. This is a war like no other before it and the scenes depicting the horrors of war are frightening. Not only are the soldiers in the trenches of France, who are constantly wet, cold and dirty, but the wives and mothers at home in England are shown to be living in a blackish world of death and loss. Louis de Bernieres is a brilliant storyteller, mixing up the characters who tell the story and giving us detailed historical detail of the period, but not too much. Now, I have to somehow wait for another story from him"— Jason Kennedy
From the acclaimed author of Corelli's Mandolin, here is a sumptuous, sweeping, powerfully moving new novel about a British family whose lives and loves are indelibly shaped by the horrors of World War I and the hopes for its aftermath.
In the brief golden years of the Edwardian era the McCosh sisters Christabel, Ottilie, Rosie and Sophie grow up in an idyllic household in the countryside south of London. On one side, their neighbors are the proper Pendennis family, recently arrived from Baltimore, whose close-in-age boys Sidney, Albert and Ashbridge shake their father's hand at breakfast and address him as sir. On the other side is the Pitt family: a resolutely French mother, a former navy captain father, and two brothers, Archie and Daniel, who are clearly going to grow up into a pair of daredevils and adventurers. In childhood this band is inseparable, but the days of careless camaraderie are brought to an abrupt halt by the outbreak of The Great War, in which everyone will play a part.
All three Pendennis brothers fight in the hellish trenches at the front; Daniel Pitt becomes an ace fighter pilot with his daredevil tendencies intact; Rosie and Ottilie McCosh volunteer in the hospitals, where women serve with as much passion and nearly as much hardship as the men at the front; Christabel McCosh becomes one of the squad of photographers sending snaps of their loved ones at home to the soldiers; and Sophie McCosh drives for the RAF in France. In the aftermath of the war, as the universal joy and relief were beginning to be tempered by . . . an atmosphere of uncertainty, everyone must contend with the modern world that is slowly emerging from the ashes of the old.
A wholly immersive novel about a particular time and place, The Dust That Falls from Dreams also illuminates the timeless ways in which men and women carry profound loss alongside indelible hope.
About the Author
Louis de Bernieres is the author of, among other novels, A Partisan s Daughter, Birds Without Wings, Corelli s Mandolin, The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord and The War of Don Emmanuel s Nether Parts. Selected by Granta as one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 1993, de Bernieres lives in London."