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Passion Dream Book, The Paperback – April 21, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: HarpPeren; Reprint edition (April 21, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061096237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061096235
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,982,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In The Passion Dream Book Whitney Otto blends fiction and history to explore the tumultuous relationship between art and the lives artists chose in the service of their art. Otto weaves a story that shifts from the Italian Renaissance to the Harlem Renaissance of 1930s America. The novel--the second from the author of the well-loved How to Make an American Quilt--opens with the story of Guilietta Marcel, a young Florentine girl who spies on the artist Michelangelo while he sculpts the "David" in his studio and aspires herself to create art. Then we jump to the 20th century, where Romy March, a descendant of Guilietta, faces a related collection of difficult choices in the quest to become an artist herself. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA. This readable novel spans several centuries and continents, combining fictional characters with historical figures to create an overview of art, especially the role of the patron in its development. In Renaissance Florence, motherless Giulietta Marcel is trained by her father, but she can never become a recognized artist in this male-dominated period. Guilietta spies on Michaelangelo, loving him from afar and earning her livelihood by discovering his works, his habits, and his loves and passing this information on to others. One of her artistically designed boxes, meant to hold mementos, is passed down through the generations until a 20th-century descendant, Romy March, becomes its owner. This treasured possession connects her to Giulietta's passion for art and love. During the early 1900s, Romy has more freedom but still must struggle against America's negative view of art as a feminine career and society's aversion to her love for Augustine, an African American. The couple flees first to Harlem and then to Paris in their search for liberation. Romy finally settles in San Francisco in the 1950s, having come to accept herself. This story is much more than a romance. There is much information about art, especially American art during the early 20th century. YAs will gain insight into this world, its history, and the role of passion in creating gifted artists.?Dottie Kraft, formerly at Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Whitney Otto is the bestselling author of "How To Make an American Quilt" (also made into a feature film starring Winona Ryder), "Now You See Her," "The Passion Dream Book," "A Collection of Beauties at the Height of Their Popularity," and her newest novel, "Eight Girls Taking Pictures." "Eight Girls Taking Pictures" was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.

Please visit her at her website: www.whitneyotto.com, and on Facebook and tumblr.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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11
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See all 14 customer reviews
I look forward to her next...
MLG
Finally, Romy's personality was the most unrealistic aspect of the book.
Filomena Carina
Whitney Otto has a writing style that I find irresistible.
BB_MKE

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Passion Dream Book is really like a dream, I felt the highs and lows of the characters unlike any other book I have read. It's easy to devour books and say I couldn't put it down...but sometimes there are just no other ways to describe it. I read How To Make An American Quilt many years ago, and enjoyed it as well, but this one, is completely in a different league. It is absolutely beautiful and so well written. If you are wondering if you should buy it or not, wonder no further, you won't be sorry you did.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
From when I first started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. Otto brilliantly described a world of art and love in an impressive blend of history and fiction. In what appears to be a story merely about art, it is instead something that everyone can relate to. It explores the relationships that make up our lives, and brings up many ideas. I found myself wondering what I want from my life and my relationships with others. Wonderfully written.. A must-read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book beautifully tells the story of an "artist"
While Ms. Otto nevers go in exact detail about a lot of
the points of the book you still get the exact meaning
of what she wants to say. You "feel" what it's like to
be an artist, woman of that time period,in a biracial
relationship. You want to be a part of this book.

I would definately recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 1997
Format: Paperback
I found the Passion Dream Book to be a moving and unusual read. With a feminist (or rather "woman-centric") outlook, Otto explores history, art, creative women AND men, and the importance and pain of being faithful to your true self. After I finished, I felt like I had awoken from a dream - and I wanted to fall back asleep and continue dreaming
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
I must say that The Passion Dream Book has to be one of my favorite books. Romy's quest for finding herself in the roaring twenties was beautifully written. I would recommend this book to anyone who dreams of becoming an artist, or wishes to follow their dreams. I couldn't put it down.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jay-Elle on May 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
The ending to this book left me feeling that something great had been started, and lost track of partway through the journey.

I picked this book up with no clue as to what it was about (the back cover gives no hints), but was intrigued by the title, and what I saw when I glanced at a few pages.

Early on, we're provided with back-story some generations prior to the main story of would-be artist Romy, her ambitions and meanderings, and romance with more successful artist Augustine. This back-story follows Romy's ancestor, Giulietta, living in the time of Michaelangelo, and is quite fascinating. Yet, Otto fails to properly return to Giulietta later on in the book. Instead, we end up focussing mostly on Romy (who I found a good bit less intriguing, perhaps because she's the same thing as Giulietta, but less fresh the second time around). Giulietta's life is wrapped up in an incredibly meagre referenace late on in the book, so insignificant I nearly missed it when I sneezed.

For such an intriguing title, I was left feeling like 'The Passion Dream Book' was little more than a needlessly extended love story with some interesting art history tossed for good measure. I enjoyed the journey in places, but ultimately left feeling gypped.
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Format: Paperback
I absolutely loved this book! Got it at a tag sale last summer and just picked it up to read last week. It's very rich and filled with subtle insights into what life is really like. I love the writing style and the characters too. Especially Romy, the main female of the story - she's wonderfully strong and true to herself. It starts with a bit of personal history from Michaelangelo's day then jumps to the story of the love of Augustine and Romy in the 20s, the 30s, the 40s and even into the 50s. It carries me along on the wings of the hearts of artists. I read it in small bits easily and hungrily, absorbing every word. I didn't want it to end. It's simple and stunning the way events are related. Definitely the best book I've read so far this year.
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