Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


109 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully- written fusion of past and present
The Dream House is a truly great read which had me chuckling one moment and crying the next. It's a book which, in the lightest and most enjoyable of ways, compares the predicaments faced by two women living a hundred years apart. One minute you are busy empathizing with the modern day dilemmas of Kate as she seeks to juggle being a successful career woman and a...
Published on 13 May 2006 by Vince

versus
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This could've been quite an enjoyable story - I'm prepared to go along with some incredible coincidences, but this is also littered with cheesy cliches and ugly Americanisms which are really aggravating. The writing is pretentious (although the parts set in the 1920s seem better), and so are the characters.

The writing is also fairly bland, partly because there...
Published on 7 May 2013 by ethics girl


‹ Previous | 1 219 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

109 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully- written fusion of past and present, 13 May 2006
This review is from: The Dream House (Paperback)
The Dream House is a truly great read which had me chuckling one moment and crying the next. It's a book which, in the lightest and most enjoyable of ways, compares the predicaments faced by two women living a hundred years apart. One minute you are busy empathizing with the modern day dilemmas of Kate as she seeks to juggle being a successful career woman and a successful mother. The next, when Kate finds her dream house in the country, you are being whisked back in time to witness the Victorian predicaments once faced by its now elderly inhabitant Agnes. Agnes' story is both tragically gripping and fascinating in its detail - can you imagine watching the first traffic lights being put up on Oxford Street??! The two eras are cleverly linked in a story that is intricately woven and keeps you guessing to the very end. I really couldn't put it down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent blend of historical detail and real life situations, 25 Sept. 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (Edinburgh, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dream House (Paperback)
I'm a fan of historical novels and family-sagas so this book was right up my street. I was a bit cautious when starting this novel as it was a gift from my mum and I've sometimes found some of her favourite books to be a bit flat and predictable. Thankfully, this book exceeded my expectations as I really found myself connecting with the protagonist and was completely immersed in the story.

Kate is eight years into her marriage to Simon when they decide to move to the country to rekindle their love and reconnect with their children. While Kate leaves her high-flying publishing job to become a stay-at-home mum, her husband commutes to London during the week. Eventually they begin to see less and less of each other, and although Kate and the kids are settled in Suffolk, making friends with their neighbours and creating a new life for themselves, Kate and Simon's marriage still seems to be on the rocks. I think that any woman would sympathise with Kate's situation, and it even made me - a nineteen year old, unmarried university student - realise how difficult "commuter marriages" are. Her life also struck a chord with me as I'd love to work in publishing, but know that ultimately, I'd want to stay at home when I have children. My long term boyfriend is also called Simon...spooky!

While exploring her new home area with her children, Kate discovers a beautiful old house - one that she thinks she's dreamed about - which belongs to a long lost relative. Whilst dealing with her new life and the difficulties with her husband, Kate also discovers a long-ago unsolved mystery surrounding her new-found Aunt Agnes that she is determined to solve. Here, the "narrative within a narrative" style of writing takes off as Kate discovers secrets about her Aunt Agnes, and her own family, in her old diaries. This style will be familiar to fans of Kate Morton's The House at Riverton or The Forgotten Garden, although this novel isn't so evenly split between the modern and past narratives. It was fascinating to dip into the 1920s and experience life through the eyes of Agnes. Although I didn't become so connected to her as I did to Kate, it was exciting to uncover the mysteries surrounding her and her family.

I'll admit that it did take me a while to get into the story, but in the end I really cared about the characters and wanted them to achieve happiness in their lives. This is a book with happy endings all round, so if you're looking for a serious novel with absolutely nothing predictable then this might not be for you. But if you like a splash of romance, a dabble of mystery and good dash of historical detail and family problems then I'd recommend this author. 4.5*
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 7 May 2013
By 
ethics girl (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dream House (Paperback)
This could've been quite an enjoyable story - I'm prepared to go along with some incredible coincidences, but this is also littered with cheesy cliches and ugly Americanisms which are really aggravating. The writing is pretentious (although the parts set in the 1920s seem better), and so are the characters.

The writing is also fairly bland, partly because there is no sense of place, other than 'placename-dropping'. The author mentions the 'landscape' and 'light' of Suffolk once or twice, but does not actually describe them, and there are very few references to architecture - despite the book being called 'The Dream House', there is no real description of what this is, other than 'the sort of house you draw as a child'. It was quite disappointing to finish this book having virtually no idea of the style, period, architecture, or even general appearance of Kate's dream house.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, slow to start and lacks detail, 23 Jun. 2013
This review is from: The Dream House (Paperback)
I liked the sound of the story, but found it slow to start with and nearly put it down. The story does get better, but it's terribly predictable and lacks the detail to really bring the story to life. There are some references to the style of the house and the surrounding countryside, but not enough.

The break down of the marriage is glossed over, possibly because there are so many other storylines going on. The description of the 1920's era is slightly better, but still lacking. The end is completely predictable and so many of the strangers finding out that they are in fact long lost relatives is unrealistic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 17 Jun. 2007
By 
CL (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dream House (Paperback)
I never thought I would like this book. But it actually turned out to be one of my favourites! I read a lot of books, all kinds of books, and this one really took me into its story, charachters and wonderful world! I wish I'd written it, that's how much I love it! Buy it because of its amazing story and very affordable price! A perfect summer read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing reading, 2 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Dream House (Kindle Edition)
Disappointing reading; Kate and Simon's marriage was obviously going to be a problem from the beginning, and the twists in the plot were predictable. I disliked most of the main characters, Kate was irritating, Simon unpleasant, the children badly behaved to the point that it was annoying reading about them. The entire cast were cliched, two dimensional and uninteresting. The plot was far fetched and unconvincing. It took me days to read this book, because I pretty much knew what was going to happen, and wasn't really interested anyway. If you want something to read that isn't too demanding, when travelling for example, this book would do but for a good read I wouldn't recommend it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an easy read but a bit predictable, 20 Jan. 2010
By 
This review is from: The Dream House (Paperback)
The Dream House

This was an interesting easy read, but maybe there were too many disasters fitted in to be very realistic

Add to that recurrent dreams of a house in days past, miraculously found in the present. It was sometimes very obvious what was going to happen - and who was going to end up with whom

Having said all that I did quite enjoy this, but I doubt I will re-read it
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A dream mix of a modern family story with a solid touch of mystery, suspense and historical detail, 24 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Dream House (Paperback)
The Dream House is a wonderful novel that combines a good mix of the story of a modern family, facing modern problems, together with the historical account of a parallel story effortlessly incorporated in the main track of events. All of that is skillfully bound together with a good dose of mystery and suspense as Kate's story and the story of the newly found relative Aunt Agnes unfold all the way providing new goals for the reader to attain, new points of culmination, not to mention everything that life has to throw at the main character of the novel, Kate, all of which reminds one so vividly of the uncertainties and the complexities of everyday life.

The novel is beautifully written by a definitely skillful writer well versed in the English language. It was a delight to savour the variety of vocabulary used throughout the book, which makes it even more interesting to read (unlike other novels by other accomplished writers that seem to possess such a limited vocabulary that makes me wonder how on earth they became huge successes).

This book will definitely reward you on every level, from story line to word usage, from character development to the skillful descriptions of the English countryside and weather that reminded me so much of Thomas Hardy's similarly poetic descriptions, making you yearn to visit the English countryside at once and lighting your imagination with beautiful detailed pictures.

The characters' psychological depth that is strengthened by every single word used, will ensure your connection to not just one but many if not all of them. The suspense for the denouement of events will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next, grasping your attention to the very last page, making you wish you could have even more of a taste of these people's lives, predicaments, disappointments as well as romances.

The ending is happy but not without loss, not without having paid a dear cost, just like life as we know it, and in that respect it is fully realistic although, at the same time, uplifting your spirits with the strength of character of the main protagonist and her positive look on life.

Just a slight criticism to the editor(s) of the book: a few editing mistakes made it through to the final print, which can be annoying if one finds themselves like me, stopping the reading because unconsciously I started editing the text. Still this cannot reflect bad on the novel itself in the end.

All in all, I am really happy to have read this magnificent novel, I feel richer, which speaks for itself, and I am looking forward to reading all the other novels by Rachel Hore, since I find her writing style, story line invention and vocabulary depth really fulfilling.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing tale spanning two totally different lives and times, 31 May 2013
This review is from: The Dream House (Paperback)
Helen for www.bigbooklittlebook.com

I discovered Rachel Hore's work through my Book Club and am now working my way through her works! This is her latest novel and yet again I couldn't put it down.

This is the story of Kate And her family as they decide to quit the rat race for a peaceful life with more family time in Suffolk. However it will come as no surprise to know that the path to tranquility doesn't run smooth. This ideal, placed under a microscope with added stresses and strains certainly is shown to be a bit of a mirage. Giving up one life for the dream of another is difficult and requires hard work and a bit of luck to make it come true.

But this is not even a straight forward move to the country. Maybe it would have been had Kate not come with so much baggage. She has had a difficult life since her sister died when they were both teenagers and her parents shut down. The impact of this is still rippling through Kate's life. She struggles to deal with what happened and the repercussions it continues to have on her.

Once the family have arrived in Suffolk and settled living with Kate's mother-in-law, cracks Kate has never realised exist begin to show. As Kate tries to get to grips with her new life, and the changes in her families life now they are away from London, she finds help and solace in a few places but in one particularly unexpected one as she meets Agnes. Agnes turns out to be a distant relative and, quite literally, lives in Kate's dream house. Kate has dreamed about it and it is the complete picture of her perfect house. As Kate gets to know Agnes she learns to deal with some of the tragedies in her life whilst solving the mystery of Agnes' own troubled life.

The two stories intertwine well with the narrative moving between the past and the present. There are quite alot if co-incidences in this story, but as Rachel writes strong, intelligent and relatable characters I was willing to overlook this. The air of mystery that pervades the book helps with this. It all feels as though it wil work out the way it is `meant to be'. At the same time, although elements of the story are what you might think of as predictable there was certainly enough for me in there that was not. Also when a novel is written with prose that paint's a picture in your mind then I feel I can be even more forgiving.

I was really rooting for everything to work out for Kate and I enjoyed the fact that her journey wasn't straight forward. There is a good cast of supporting characters too, and it was of particular note that Kate's mother-in-law is one of the best and not cast according to stereotype. This time I was more gripped by the story in the present than of that in the past, but Agnes story was truly heart rending in places.

Verdict:Yet again Rachel Hore has produced an intriguing tale spanning two totally different lives and times that still shows how, in so many ways, the issues we face through our lives don't really change with the passing if time. People still try and sometimes fail, love and sometimes suffer and battle and sometimes give everything to reach their dreams.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars fairly dull read, but quite well done, 11 April 2013
By 
L. Bretherton "dempie" (Tiverton, Devon) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Dream House (Paperback)
I found some of the characters irritating in this, even the heroine, Kate. (Can't she see what a tool she's married to?) Also some of the chapters go into far too much detail about Joyce and the children (dull, dull...) and I simply skipped over all the guff about the school closing down.

I liked the character of Agnes - a feisty old lady with a sad secret and a fabulous house.

I agree with other reviewers about the predictability of the plot here. Kate needs a new home. Kate needs a new man. You know she's going to get both, it's just a matter of how......

There is one gigantic plot lever which is dropped into the book about a third of the way through. You will spot it, because the sentence seems so out of place in the chapter. You are thinking "Why do I need to know this? Why mention it now?" Later, you will see how it helps everything to fall into place to ensure a neat and tidy ending.

So, overall, it's quite a good read, fine for a holiday or a weekend away. Not a keeper, though.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 219 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Dream House
The Dream House by Rachel Hore (Paperback - 22 Nov. 2012)
£6.39
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews