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Extended Audio Sample My Dream Of You Audiobook, by Nuala O’Faolain Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,307 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nuala O’Faolain Narrator: Dearbhla Molloy Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2001 ISBN: 9780743519885
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Kathleen de Burca is a travel writer based in London. The office is the nearest thing she has to a home. When a quick series of blows strips away the props of her life, she is faced with the frightening imperative of change.
In her crisis she decides to investigate a true story about a relationship so passionate that it burned its way across the barriers of class and culture -- a scandalous affair between the wife of an English landlord and an Irish servant during the devastation of Ireland's potato famine.
After an absence of thirty years, Kathleen returns to Ireland to research the story and begins a journey that leads her not only into the historical past, but into a reconsideration of the family she fled years ago. While back in Ireland, she meets a lover of her own who presents her with a choice that promises to alter the course of her life. As she moves toward her decision, she calls on the strengths of her identity as a woman, an Irish woman, and a woman who is no longer young. Meanwhile, she brings the story of the long-ago lovers to a denouement as tender as it is tragic.
My Dream of You explores the extremes of passion, the depths of loneliness, and the resilience of the human heart. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A big, generous, essentially old-fashion novel…There is tendeness here, and humanity, and a persuasive account of what happens when a person allows the world to enter into her once more.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “What a pleasure it is to be able to open a book and relax into the flow of a beautifully written narrative…And always, of course, behind everything is Ireland itself—beautiful, maddening Ireland.” 

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Full of brilliant writing and heartbreaking insight.” 

    Newsweek

  • “Ingeniously explores the consuming power of both passion and the past.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • A 2001 Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Prize for First Fiction Finalist
  • A 2001 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2002 Audie Award

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Colleen | 2/17/2014

    " I found myself impatient to get this book over with only because I wanted to see how it would end. The story just didn't hold together very well and it seemed like the same story that's been told hundreds of times before. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shelly | 2/17/2014

    " I learned about the famine in Ireland, but what I remember is her writing style. It was unique and amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maryann | 2/16/2014

    " Even though I still can't remember whether or not I read this book already, I very much enjoyed it (perhaps for a second time?). With a tone similar to O'Faolain's memoir "Are you Somebody?" a lot of self-exploration of a single woman later in life with enough Irish thrown in to transport me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 2/11/2014

    " this was a good book. I remember a hilarious scene involving a seal sitting on an armchair listening to classical music "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isabelle | 1/14/2014

    " I had heard an intrview of Nuala O'Faolain on NPR as her book was coming out, and I had so enjoyed her wit that I rushed to the store to buy the book. What a great idea that was! I was so swept away by the double tale of the book that I called in sick from work to read through until I was done. It is like a duet in harmony on the destinies of women in Ireland, today and one century ago, young or middle-aged, always not quite loved enough and having to pay the price for being vibrant beings. Even today, when I think about the book, it helps be at peace with being a middle-aged woman. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Knitme23 | 1/4/2014

    " I have read her first book, a memoir, and then Julie sent me "My Dream of You" in the Bodacious Box of Books, and I loved it. It's long, and starts pretty slowly, seeming like one of those novels in which the main character keeps doing dumb and self-destructive things again, again, and again. . . but then it had bolts of humor, and some characters who offered insight and common sense, and the main character seemed to be growing and learning from her dumb actions, and I ended up reading it in about three days and really enjoying it. I know a little about Irish history, and O'Faolain's stories helped me understand a little more about (HUGE GENERALITY COMING! SORRY!) what makes "the Irish experience" what it is--I knew the Famine was bad, but parts of this story tie into the fact that the enclosure movement took advantage of the Famine, so that the native Irish were too weak to resist. People were living in holes in the ground! There were dead bodies lying along the roads! And many of the English landlords viewed the native Irish people as vermin. WOW. BUT that's not even really the focus on the novel, and I think O'Faolain took a huge risk in all the strands she brought together--Kathleen's historical research, her family's immediate history (mother's death and father's behavior), and her life as she turns 50--but I think it works. It's a sad but a healing book--"bittersweet," I think. And I don't think I'd've liked it when I was younger--under 40, say. But I certainly did like it at this stage of my life. Sad to find out that Nuala O'Faolain died in 2008 of cancer, discovered only 3 months earlier, but good to know she died after a last trip to various countries with some of her siblings. AND that there was a big funeral for her in Dublin and the streets were filled. I loved the old priest's advice to Kathleen: "Do the thing that's less passive, he had said. Do the active thing. There's more of the human in that." (509) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teresa | 12/29/2013

    " I think I'm going to start reading this on a cold day. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim Meadows | 12/15/2013

    " I read this book after Angela's Ashes. Setting me up for a good opportunity to bridge the effete of time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tina | 11/24/2013

    " 5 stars for O'Faolain's prose, but the story line was uneven and tedious at times. Her absolutely stunning and sumptious writing made it worth the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 11/11/2013

    " This book has to do with the Irish potato famine and coming to terms of aging/forgiveness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen O'Malley | 10/24/2013

    " melancholic. sort of the opposite of the coming-of-age novel. it starts with the death of the main character's best friend and goes through a "what now?" reevaluation of values, goals, and identity. it also looks into an actual affair during the potato famine. moving. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marla Glenn | 10/19/2013

    " Liked her characters "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole | 6/20/2013

    " Perhaps my second-favorite book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marnie | 6/16/2013

    " Coming of age at age 50! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 6/5/2013

    " Amazing! A great, enthralling read - I loved it after receiving it as a loan from a friend, had to buy my own copy @ Powell's! Definitely recommend & I wish I could give it 6 stars ! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 M | 6/22/2012

    " If I could give this book 20 stars, I would! Perhaps you have to be a woman "of a certain age" to appreciate the beauty in this book, but I have read it three times, and enjoy it more each time. Love love love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 P'ster | 3/26/2012

    " For anyone who's had to decide between passion and possibility, or had circumstances decide that for them, this is a heartbreaker, and one of my reread favorites. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 2/9/2012

    " I read this for my bookstore book club. It was okay, the discussion we had was good, but I don't think I'd recommend this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Connie | 1/9/2012

    " story of Irish travel writer and historical investigation into divorce; engaging "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rea Martin | 1/1/2012

    " Rich in voice and Irish history, Nuala O'Faolain tells a wonderful tale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frances | 10/3/2011

    " Interesting interweaving of the main character's present with the historic story that she begins to investigate. It has a wonderful feel of Ireland that carries through the book. I enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca Coday | 7/11/2011

    " One of my fave novels of all time! Tender, Complex and Human together with terrific writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kieran Walsh | 4/27/2011

    " Took this out to re-read recently as I'd read that Nuala O'Faolain had just died. A little 'romantic' (particularly in the light of Irish History) but the style of weaving the current narrator with the historical character was engaging. It was definitely a 'page turner'. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rana | 4/3/2011

    " I truly didn't like this book. The lack of punctuation made it very difficult to know if someone was speaking, thinking, or narrating. I made it to the end, but I don't know how. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 M | 3/25/2011

    " If I could give this book 20 stars, I would! Perhaps you have to be a woman "of a certain age" to appreciate the beauty in this book, but I have read it three times, and enjoy it more each time. Love love love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jill | 2/28/2011

    " A wonderful way of returning to Ireland, through layers of storytelling, to finally discover the business of celebrating life and love is in the small things, the shared homemade dinner and the cup of tea, watching the birds in the trees, letting go of bitterness. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Courtney | 1/31/2011

    " Found the main character unlikable. Read at the request of boyfriend, which I find a bit puzzling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bobi | 1/3/2011

    " Such an amazing book! Couldn't put it down.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tina | 1/3/2011

    " 5 stars for O'Faolain's prose, but the story line was uneven and tedious at times. Her absolutely stunning and sumptious writing made it worth the read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy | 12/8/2010

    " I've thoroughly enjoyed everything I've written by Nuala O'Faolain. She's painfully honest and forthcoming. She has a marvelous sense of humor and conveys that, along with pathos, cleverly and convincingly. O'Faolain is one of my four or five favorite authors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 11/5/2010

    " I remember this was really romantic and I recommended it up the wazoo until I forgot about. Poor book! That happens to so many books. Thank god for Jane Eyre.I loved this author's voice but tried reading her memoir and couldnt finish it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 10/18/2010

    " Wow. By far, one of the best books I have ever read. I hope to write a more extensive review, but until then - WOW! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 10/14/2010

    " I read this for my bookstore book club. It was okay, the discussion we had was good, but I don't think I'd recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jack | 8/27/2010

    " O'Failain is better at autobiography. Interweaves the story of a lonely travel writer looking for love as she approaches her later years and that of an adulterous affair from the 19th century. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rea | 6/27/2010

    " Rich in voice and Irish history, Nuala O'Faolain tells a wonderful tale. "

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About the Author
Author Nuala O’Faolain

Nuala O’Faolain (1940–2008) worked as a columnist for the Irish Times and producer for the BBC. She became a feminist early in her youth, motivated by a belief in social justice.

About the Narrator

Dearbhla Molloy is an actress and narrator and was nominated for Broadway’s 1992 Tony Award as Best Actress for Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa. On television she has appeared in Foyle’s War, Waking the Dead, Midsomer Murders, Holby City, and New Tricks.