Readers will discover an incredible talent in O'Faolain, who's exceptional narrative skill and mature insight into human interactions make her first novel more than just a sad tale of growing up poor in Ireland or of a feminist mid-life crisis. MY DREAM OF YOU is a painful story of a woman who went looking for a blueprint of intimacy through sex and, 30 years later, realized that intimacy is rooted in self-worth.
Thirty years after she fled her homeland, Kathleen de Burca returns to Ireland to research a historical novel. Kathleen's trip is prompted by the death of her closest friend, an event that causes her to realize that her entire life is built around her job as a travel writer for a London-based magazine. Feeling unfulfilled by her life of hectic travel, deadlines, and one-night stands, Kathleen decides to trade in her career as a journalist to write a historical novel based on an obscure 1849 divorce case wherein an Englishwoman was accused of having an affair with an Irish servant. Thinking herself on the trail of a great love story, what Kathleen uncovers in this heartbreaking introspection on love and loneliness is her own difficult path as an independent, career woman that went looking for a passionate love in all the wrong ways.
Believing that the Englishwoman and her Irish lover would only have risked defying law and convention for the sake of an irresistible love, Kathleen speculates on how it is that some women find true and lasting love while others are lead to promiscuity and abusive relationships. This speculation leads Kathleen to a candid reflection of her own search for so-called "passion" through sexual submissiveness, promiscuity, and infidelities. Having always considered sex as a means to intimacy, the narrator tries to fathom how others succeed at finding love and companionship any other way. It is in these reflections that O'Faolain's narrative talent truly shines. Through Kathleen's eyes we get to