||Jan 1, 2010.
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Dean from Australia
A Lyrical And Deeply Moving Love Story About A Young Spirit That Refuses To Die
Australian, Denny Banister had the world at his feet; a successful career, a passion for the guitar and he is in love with Sonya – his best friend and soul mate. Tragically, Denny is struck down with inoperable cancer & he is destined to die.
Meanwhile, Andy DeVries has almost nothing; he is alienated from his family, he moves through a dangerous Chicago underworld dealing in drugs, battling addiction & now he’s gone and overdosed - jeopardizing the only thing that matters to him; a place at a prestigious Conservatory for classical guitar.
Having been snatched from the abyss Andy recovers, but he is plagued by dreams - memories of a love he has never felt, and a life he's never lived. Driven by the need for redemption and by the love for a woman he's never met, Andy begins a quest to find her, knowing her only by the memories of a stranger and the dreams of a place called Hambledown...
How could it have come to this?
He had the world at his feet. He had a life that was the envy of all those around him. He was
handsome and athletic, he was warm and funny. He had a loving and proud family. He had many
friends. He was young and seemingly indestructible. With his university degree, he had a bright
future to look forward to and could put his name to just about any architectural firm he wanted. It
was said that he had wanted to draw buildings since he was six years old.
For this was his great love.
Denny Banister loved complex problems, raw ideas that could be assessed and developed and
turned into a real thing: a building, a tower, a house, a home.
He was in love with a beautiful woman - a woman who was his kindred spirit. He secretly held
a desire to ask Sonya Llewellyn to marry him once they had graduated. Well, it wasn’t so much a
secret between Denny and Sonya than something they wanted to wait for, once their respective
degrees were out of the way and they could celebrate with their families.
They had fallen in love through the guitar. He played for her, the most beautiful pieces - classical pieces, lyrical pieces, soulful pieces.
For the guitar was Denny’s passion.
He played for her songs of love, of traveling, of life, of living. Denny had exquisite fingers,
which were able to dance across the guitar as though they were floating on air. But more than that,
he was able to evoke the most vivid musical imagery. He poured himself into a piece of music.
Sonya had once joked that Denny had cast a spell on her, for his music was the most enchanting
she had ever heard. It had hypnotized her.
Their conversation was intimate. It was synchronous. They had similar values, beliefs and
viewpoints, yet each of these differed just enough so that they challenged one another. Sonya was
studying law, so Denny knew very early in their relationship that in order to be a good lawyer, Sonya
had better be able to deliver a damned good argument. Denny and Sonya’s debates were the
stuff of legend amongst their friends, that it was these that fired their imagination and gave a
strength to their relationship. They were constantly challenging each other because they believed
in each other.
For Sonya was Denny’s life.
Together they dreamed of traveling. Of visiting obscure galleries in Europe. Of making love in
a villa on the shores of Lake Como in Italy. Of skinny-dipping in the Mediterranean Sea near Valetta
in Malta. Of growing old together in the house that had once been Sonya’s grandfather’s on a
hillside overlooking a quiet stretch of tranquil Australian coastline.
Now it was all about to be lost.
Denny lay in the bed, a shadow of what he had once been. The life - that vibrancy that had so
drawn others in - was fast disappearing from his sunken eyes. His face, once strong and proud, was
skeletal; his skin was bruised and pasty. His beautiful light brown hair was almost gone; a few
faded tufts were all that remained. Those fingers, which had once danced across the guitar with
such beauty and grace, which had translated onto the page complex algorithms and intricate equations,
which had held the fingers of Sonya’s own hands. They were limp now, cold and barely useful.
A warm feminine hand was entwined in them. He felt them, but he no longer had the strength to lift his own fingers.
It had taken mere months. It began as a few days of feeling unwell, with swollen glands in his
neck. Denny had passed it off as the flu. Even though he had gotten better, the lump in his neck
had refused to go away. Still he ignored it for a time, until it began to bother him. In what seemed
like a matter of moments, it had become all too serious.
Under normal circumstances it was treatable, and the outlook for a cure was good. This, however,
was a particularly aggressive cancer that had already metastasized before Denny even knew
he had it. Lymph nodes, liver, one kidney, four ribs on the left side and most cruelly of all, his
brain. He was doomed from the start. Treatment was a stalling intervention only, and not a very
good one. All it really did was halt the spread of his dementia and rob him of his hair.
Denny was 25.
Don't wake me. This Dream has it all!
What a fantastic read! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dean Mayes' The Hambledown Dream. From the start, chapter one grabbed a hold of my emotions and forced them to hold on tight for a gripping ride right through until the very end. From Denny's tragic end to Andy's new beginning and all the believable characters in between, you will not be disappointed with this story. It has love, passion, dirt and grit ... the beauty of Australian beaches and the grime of the Chicago underground ... the deathly pull of drugs and the spiritual power of music ... the rarity of true friendship and the strength of everlasting love ... and to top it off, one amazing dog that will take your breath away. I highly recommend that you pick up a copy and further dare you to try to put it down!
An emotional book
I didn't doubt for a second that I would like The Hambledown Dream. I'm always a sucker for a good love story. But Mayes gives you more than just a sweet fluffy romance. The Hambledown Dream features beautiful writing, a bit of magic, a touch of music, compelling characters, and the passion of two souls reaching for one another across the burden of distance and impossibility. I was both absorbed by the novel, by its lyrical prose that reads like a song, and moved by the storyline of a man whose love is so strong, even death cannot stop it. The Hambledown Dream is at times gritty, but it's real and life affirming, filled with poignant longing. It's an emotional book that pulls you in by the heartstrings.
Love In The Gravest Of Circumstances
I like everything about the book. The dialogue is as good as the description. I like the characters. I like that none of the characters are extraneous, and that they are painted so that I can SEE them. I feel as if I know them now. The way the author slowly melded two souls into one body was brilliantly done, and I believed it ALL. It was romantic without being soppy, and there was just enough of a supernatural quality to make the whole book dream-like but possible. I particularly love the scenes in the bar in the U.S. (especially when he's playing his guitar), and the scenes in Australia. The whole concert portion gave me chills - it was beautifully drawn, and I was THERE, in the audience, and on the stage simultaneously. The ending was perfection - Mayes wrapped it all up, and then went that extra mile to give us an idea of what their future would be like together - I appreciated that, because I wanted to know for certain that their lives would work out - at least in terms of being happy together. Whatever life throws at them in the future, it is nice to know that they will face things together, come what may. I am also very pleased that the author allowed the father a chance to get to know his son, and that both father and son were willing. Many authors would have stopped on the beach - I'm SO glad Mayes carried it on and gave the reader closure.
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