Book Reviews of City of Dreams

City of Dreams
City of Dreams
Author: Beverly Swerling
ISBN-13: 9781863252911
ISBN-10: 1863252916
Pages: 591
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.

4.8 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: Bantam Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

12 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed City of Dreams on
Helpful Score: 5
A fantastic story. The history of early Nieuw Amsterdam/Old New York is the background of this wonderful bit of historical fiction. Sally and Lucas Turner arrive in Nieuw Amsterdam in the mid-1600s. The story of the Turner descendants and the feud between the two sides of the family are continued through the American Revolution.

I enjoyed this for the history, the way that fictional and historic figures were woven into the storyline, and having lived in NYC, I smiled when I realised the names of the streets come from many of the historical figures or places. While it's a fascinating look at the 'medical' profession of the times; I must say that reading some of the surgical techniques made me a bit uneasy. Makes me glad that medicine has advanced greatly and for anesthesia!

Highly recommended to those who enjoy historical fiction or are interested in New Amsterdam/New York history. (I'm still singing "even old New York was once New Amsterdam...")
reviewed City of Dreams on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This has got to be one of my favorite books ever. Incredible writing, plot development, research, can't say enough about this book! I have not enjoyed a book this much since Slammerkin!

The story is about a brother and sister who arrive in New Amsterdam (later called New York) in the 1600's. The story is about how they made a life for themselves with her as an herbalist and he as a surgeon. Something happens between the two of them that is unable to be resolved and ends up affecting generations of their children. The book contains several books within a book and each one is a different generation's story. It is fascinating! For any family tree enthusiast or lover of historical fiction. This is a must read.
reviewed City of Dreams on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
City of Dreams takes readers through 130 years of the early history of New York City, following a few specific families through their generations as they fight, marry, grow apart and grow together.

Edward Rutherford has become the master of this particular storytelling conceit, often following families through many hundreds of years of history. He tends to focus on historical detail and accuracy, while Beverly Swerling is more interested in the dramatic and emotional interactions between her characters. At some points the book feels a bit like a "historical soap opera," but the drama is usually pretty engaging. You'll find many, many damsels in distress, betrayals, hidden treasure, murders, torrid affairs, arson, espionage, and many, many, many amputations.

Let me say that again: There are many amputations. Also: purging, head trauma, violent disease, and violent-er deaths. This book is not for the faint of heart, but then again, neither were the 1700's.
reviewed City of Dreams on + 384 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
this is almost the perfect book!the author guides us thru the 16 and 17 hundreds in Niew Amsterdam,which eventually becomes NYC. there is intrigue,barbaric indians,even more barbaric doctoring,family feuds and secrets is about 2 families inextricably intertwined thru the ages.
reviewed City of Dreams on + 114 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Rich with unforgettable characters and history, intricately plotted and utterly absorbing, this is a stirring saga of early Manhattan and the beginnings of medical science told by a master storyteller.
reviewed City of Dreams on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed reading and learning about the early settlers of what is now New York City. The story goes through several generations of families and the author does a good job of describing the characters and their feelings. If you like historical fiction, you will probably like this book.
reviewed City of Dreams on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Rick thought it was informative history about Manhatten in the very beginning.
reviewed City of Dreams on
Helpful Score: 1
I'm a big fan of historical novels and this one is deffinitely worth the read! It was awesome to read about that specific area back in the day. The description of life is detailed and super interesting. The storyline is catching and keeps you on the edge at all times. I just couldn't put it down.
reviewed City of Dreams on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I am an avid reader and I liked this book a great deal. It kept me coming back again and again.
reviewed City of Dreams on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
In 1661, Lucas Turner, a barber surgeon, and his sister, Sally, an apothecary, stagger off a small wooden ship after eleven weeks at sea. Bound to each other by blood and necessity, they aim to make a fresh start in the rough and rowdy Dutch settlement of Nieuw Amsterdam; soon lust, betrayal, and murder will make them mortal enemies. In their struggle to survive in the New World, Lucas and Sally make choices that will burden their descendants with a legacy of secrets and retribution, and create a heritage that sets cousin against cousin, physician against surgeon, and, ultimately, patriot against Tory.

In what will be the greatest city in the New World, the fortunes of these two families are inextricably entwined by blood and fire in an unforgettable American saga of pride and ambition, love and hate, and the becoming of the dream that is New York City.
reviewed City of Dreams on + 279 more book reviews
This was a great read--
reviewed City of Dreams on + 47 more book reviews
Listened to abridged audio book. I'm sure if I was a New Yorker I'd really love this book, as I would be familiar with the locations described. Even so, I enjoyed this historical fiction. In addition, Gabrielle De Cuir is a great voice actress!