Monday, 1 April 2013

My Review of 'The Deam of Scipio' by Iain Pears

The Dream of ScipioThe Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is rarely I find a book that I want to re-read. With The Dream of Scipio, I started re-reading it as soon as I had finished the last pages. In part this was because, while I couldn’t put the book down on the first reading, I found it more than a little confusing until I was well into the book. Pears jumps back and forth in time between the dying days of the Roman Empire as seen through the eyes of Manlius Hippomanes, to the twentieth century in the years leading up to and including World War II as experienced in France by Julien Barneuve, to the fourteenth century at the time of the plague (the “dark ages”), and the life of poet Olivier de Noyen during that period. The connecting links are not made fully clear until the closing pages of the book, although the superficial link is that twentieth century Julien, while researching the writings of the Roman philosopher, Manlius, discovers a translation by the 14th Century poet, Olivier, of the Roman’s writing. The lives of these three protagonists unfold, each in the rich detail of his own historic period. Pears’ writing is nothing short of brilliant. Only in the final pages does the connecting link among the three historic periods and the three lives fully emerge.

This is a book to keep and reread. It is rich in detail and imagery, beautifully written, wonderfully crafted. But is not a book for the impatient reader. It requires thought and concentration. One almost needs a map to get through it. Which is why I’m re-reading. I recommend The Dream of Scipio highly to any reader who loves historic fiction. It’s a book that has earned a permanent place on my bookshelves.

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Following are my published novels. Go to my Goodreads page, to find more info and reviews.  

To purchase one of these books, just click on the book link below and select the vendor of your choice.

 • The Memory of Roses ~ The story of a secret and how it impacts two generations of the McQuaid family.  It unfolds on the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu and is a tale complete with beautiful and passionate women, handsome and fiery men, and an intriguing mystery.

"The Memory of Roses by Blair McDowell is simply an incredibly lovely story. It’s also a love story, and a story about finding yourself, and about closure. The theme running through the book is “all’s well that ends well.”  --  Marlene, Reading Reality

 • Delighting In Your Company ~ Delighting In Your Company is a paranormal romance set on an exotic Caribbean island, featuring a handsome ghost and an adventurous heroine who travels back in time to solve a mystery!

"Delighting In Your Company is a unique paranormal romance that brings together island folklore, history, and mystery with an unlikely romance between the past and present that had me going through a torrent of emotions and made it impossible to put down." -- The Romance Reviews

 • Sonata ~ Sayuri McAllister has just arrived home to Vancouver to find some shocking situations 
~ A robbery has taken place at her family home, and it is being investigated by her old flame;
~ Alyssa James who she barely knows, is about to become her new stepmother; 
~ and Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, is a charming Irishman who is intent on bedding and wedding the rich and beautiful Sayuri. 

It’s a confusing and difficult time for Sayuri, especially when dangerous accidents happen to her father and herself – or are they accidents?

“I found Sonata to be a charming novel that left me laughing out loud in parts and gnawing nails in others. It was a delight to read.” – Night Owl Reviews

 Abigails Christmas (short story) ~ An enchanting tale of love and romance, with a magical touch of fantasy.
Abigail's Christmas is a holiday story about Abigail who goes looking for a tree on Christmas Eve, and ends up with the man of her dreams in a sleigh in the Rockies --- with a wedding in the offing! Is it real?  Is she dreaming?  Or is it just Christmas magic?

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Blair McDowell