The Dust That Falls from Dreams

  • by Louis de Bernieres
  • Narrated by Avita Jay, David Sibley
  • 17 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Audible Editor Reviews

"A very complex and moving evocation of the war." (Alex Clark, The Guardian)

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What the Critics Say

"The Dust that Falls from Dreams will no doubt be a hit with millions of fans worldwide.... De Bernieres is adept at describing how lives can be devastated in minutes." (Leyla Sanai, The Independent )
"A sweeping historical epic of love and war, one that matches Birds Without Wings and his career-high best seller Corelli's Mandolin for sheer breadth, storytelling, and emotional intensity." (Malcolm Forbes, The National)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

As good as it gets!

Excellent! This book follows an English family into WWI, through the war and then after. It has all that I love in a great read: a compelling story, great characters, first person excitement and pathos, with great writing and superb story telling. Every so often, I come across an excellent print book that is even better as an audio book, and this is one. The readers bring life to the story with their narration and wonderful accents: the upper class and working class British, the French, and the Americans are brought to life with believable voices. This is one of those books I did not want to finish ... I wanted it to go on forever!
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- Jon Crawfurd

Not sure what the point was.

This novel presents a fascinating detailed account of The Great War via an English family, full of detailed airplane maneuvers, local and period slang, and large passages entirely in French. However, somewhere around the middle of the book, after the war has winded down and ended, it is unclear what the point of this novel is. It rambles on for several more hours and seems to end rather abruptly (albeit predictably). It's not that anything in this novel was bad, it's just I'm not sure it benefitted by having the bulk of the material present.
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- Elijah

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-04-2015
  • Publisher: Random House Audio