The House of Dreams

The House of Dreams

Book - 2016
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"In 2000, Gabriel Lambert is a celebrated painter who hides a dark secret. Sophie Cass, a journalist struggling to begin her career and with a family connection to Lambert, is determined to find the truth about his past and the little known story of the real Casablanca. In 1940, an international group of rescue workers, refugee intellectuals, and artists gather in the beautiful old Villa Air Bel just outside Marseilles. American journalist Varian Fry and his remarkable team at the American Relief Center are working to help them escape France, but "the greatest man-trap in history" is closing in on them. Despite their peril, true camaraderie and creativity flourishes - while love affairs spring up and secrets are hidden. At the House of Dreams, young refugee artist Gabriel Lambert changed the course of his life - and now, sixty years later at his home in the Hamptons, the truth is finally catching up with him"--
Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2016
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781250084538
1250084539
Branch Call Number: FIC BROWN 2016
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 25 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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