I have not had time to read this book, but I felt it's an important part of history so I wanted to share with you right away as it was released this week.
Click HERE to read an excerpt.
By Kate Lord Brown
World War II historical fiction has been enjoying a surge in popularity, as evidenced by recent best-sellers such as The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See. Now, in her new novel, THE HOUSE OF DREAMS (St Martin’s Press; May 10, 2016; $25.99) Kate Lord Brown, author of the critically acclaimed The Perfume Garden, presents a fascinating wartime story inspired by real-life events. Based on the true story of Varian Fry, called "the artists' Schindler," who rescued thousands of Europe's finest creative minds from certain death in WWII, THE HOUSE OF DREAMS combines the past and present in a story about the healing power of art and love.
Brown’s novel opens in 2000 when Gabriel Lambert is a celebrated painter who hides a dark secret. Sophie Cass, a journalist struggling to begin her career, is determined to find the truth about his past and the little known story of the “real Casablanca.” As Sophie delves into Lambert’s life during World War II, she hears his haunting story about a dark time in history and how it affected a movement of art.
Lambert beings his tale in 1940 when 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 those at the Villa escape France, but danger is closing in on them. Despite their peril, true camaraderie and creativity flourish, while love affairs spring up and secrets are hidden. It is here at the House of Dreams that the young refugee artist Lambert seeks haven and forever changes the course of his own life. However, Lambert has a secret of his own to keep, which he does for the next 60 years-- until the truth finally catches up with him.
THE HOUSE OF DREAMS combines Brown's lovely, lyrical writing and signature interwoven past/present narrative style with the fascinating true story of Fry, who rescued over 2,000 artists and other refugees, including Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp and Andre Breton, from the Nazis. Filled with memorable characters, rich historical details, and an epic romance, THE HOUSE OF DREAMS is certain to capture the imagination of readers with its powerful and haunting wartime story of love, courage, determination and the resilience of the human spirit.
About the Author:
KATE LORD BROWN is the internationally bestselling author of The Perfume Garden. She grew up in a wild and beautiful part of Devon, England, and was first published while at school. Kate won the BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition, Middle East region, in 2014; was a finalist in ITV's The People's Author competition 2009; and has an MA in creative writing. The Perfume Garden was shortlisted for the UK Romantic Novel of the Year 2014. She lives in the Middle East with her family.
THE HOUSE OF DREAMS
By Kate Lord Brown
Hardcover * Fiction
$25.99 * 320 pages
Publication: May 10, 2016