March 09, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

My Dream of You

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Nuala O'Faolain
genre
Fiction
We gave it a B+

Overwhelmed by a midlife crisis at 49, travel writer Kathleen Burke trades in her lonely if glamorously globe-trotting lifestyle to return to her native Ireland and confront the ghosts of a terrible childhood after 30 years away. She’s researching a book on a notorious Famine-era love affair between an Anglo-Irish landlord’s wife and an Irish servant — a tricky, not-quite-as-it-seems scandal related here as a novel-within-a-novel. Though Kathleen’s gift-of-gab-fueled narration feels somewhat overwritten, Irish journalist O’Faolain’s first novel (after her critically acclaimed 1998 memoir Are You Somebody?) ingeniously explores the consuming power of both passion and the past. B+

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