Friday, December 4, 2015

Quick Review: "The Dream of the City" by Andres Vidal

From Goodreads:  Amid the changes of the modernist movement in twentieth-century Barcelona, a miraculous encounter brings two families together. The lovely Laura Jufresa, daughter of a wealthy goldsmith and one of the most prominent artisans in the city, dreams of going to Rome to learn how to make the most avant-garde jewelry of her time. Dimas Navarros, part of a humble and hardworking but poor family, searches for enchantment in Barcelona. The entwinement of these two lives and the metropolis in which they must thrive will forever change their fates.

Centered around the construction of Antoni Gaudí’s phantasmagoric Sagrada Família and the pull it has on each character, The Dream of the City is both a historical imagining and a vibrant vision of the shapes and people that bring Barcelona to life.

My Thoughts:  The Dream of the City is an interesting look at a turbulent period in Spain"s history.  through his characters, Mr Vidal shows the class divide in Barcelona and the struggles of the poor.  His descriptions of Dimas' life and that of his family were compelling and it was fascinating to see how different his life and upbringing was compared to Laura.

I always enjoy reading about art so I really enjoyed reading about the construction of the Sagrada Familia cathedral as well as the jewelry making that Laura was apart of.  The descriptions of the different aspects of the cathedral's design were amazing and made it easy to visualize what was being built.  I also enjoyed the descriptions of Laura's jewelry designs and how she designed her pieces in such a way that they related to the cathedral.  Also, the descriptions of Barcelona were wonderful and really brought the city to life.

The characters were unique and such a depth to them, especially Dimas.  There were times where I wanted to hate him but I just couldn't.  I was sad that there wasn't more about Juan's father in the story.  He was the first character the reader meets and then he was just kind of relegated to a lesser role.  

I know this is a galley but I will say that I hope someone edits this book again before it's published.  There were a lot of spelling/grammar issues as well as some translation issues.  It didn't make the book unreadable but it was distracting.  Overall, I would say that The Dream of the City was an enjoyable read.  3 stars.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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