Sweet Dreams: A Novel

( 28 )

Overview

It's 1962, and Dusty Fairchild, daughter of a self-made millionaire and oilman, wants to go to college. Instead she is sent to a private finishing school in East Texas. Although she's never wanted for material possessions, Dusty longs for independence and adventure. The only upside to attending Miss Fontaine's is having her cousin and best childhood friend, Paisley, join her. Paisley has traveled the country with her bohemian mother, but she dreams of putting down roots and living a settled life. At Miss ...

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Sweet Dreams: A Novel

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Overview

It's 1962, and Dusty Fairchild, daughter of a self-made millionaire and oilman, wants to go to college. Instead she is sent to a private finishing school in East Texas. Although she's never wanted for material possessions, Dusty longs for independence and adventure. The only upside to attending Miss Fontaine's is having her cousin and best childhood friend, Paisley, join her. Paisley has traveled the country with her bohemian mother, but she dreams of putting down roots and living a settled life. At Miss Fontaine's, their loyalty to each other binds them, but when they fall in love with the same handsome young man, their relationship teeters on shaky ground. Only after a tragic accident do they learn where their true hearts-and dreams-lie.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Morris
"Long before I met Carla Stewart and her work, I had heard others sing her praises. She does not disappoint. SWEET DREAMS is an inspiring novel and one that is heartfelt. Readers are sure to savor every page of this wonderful story."
Myra Johnson
"Pick up one of Carla Stewart's books and prepare to be enchanted by endearing characters, nostalgic settings, and lyrical prose. Capturing the angst of the '60s in the struggles of two determined women, SWEET DREAMS is another outstanding novel from one of the best!"
William Torgerson
"From the very first sentence of SWEET DREAMS, I knew I was in good hands with Carla Stewart as a storyteller. The language is lively, and there's a lot in the pages to keep a reader hurrying forward. Carla Stewart writes about friendship, love, family, and what it is to dream. This is a book that takes you back in time, one that makes you laugh, and most of all, one that causes you to consider the importance of family. SWEET DREAMS is a book to be savored and enjoyed. What a funny and touching read!"
Anne Mateer
"Carla Stewart has a knack for bringing to life the not-so-distant past of the 1950s and '60s. SWEET DREAMS is no exception. Rich in detail and relationship, this story of two cousins seeking their own dreams amidst a tangle of relationships and secrets tugs the heartstrings in every direction. A lovely journey to self-discovery, truth and freedom."
Judy Christie
"SWEET DREAMS draws you in to a simpler time with charm and humor. As two cousins dream and fret about the future, they see God's plans unfolding within them. Carla Stewart is masterful at creating characters you care about-and places that seem so real you feel like you've gone for a visit. Her details of Texas oilfields and ranches are so vivid that you can almost tasted the grit in your mouth."
Rachel Hauck
"Carla Stewart is one of the best at slicing out a piece of Americana and serving it to the reader in a delicious story. Stardust is a smooth, inviting, well told story that will stick with you long after you read the last line and close the book. A worthy read."
RT Book Reviews on Broken Wings
"While the story is heartbreaking, there is much more to this book. The lives of Mitzi and Brooke are told both in present time and with flashbacks, weaving together love, loss, tragedy and friendship. Stewart skillfully entertains and engages the reader with each character's private pain and survival skills."
From the Publisher
"Long before I met Carla Stewart and her work, I had heard others sing her praises. She does not disappoint. SWEET DREAMS is an inspiring novel and one that is heartfelt. Readers are sure to savor every page of this wonderful story."—Michael Morris, author of A Place Called Wiregrass

"Pick up one of Carla Stewart's books and prepare to be enchanted by endearing characters, nostalgic settings, and lyrical prose. Capturing the angst of the '60s in the struggles of two determined women, SWEET DREAMS is another outstanding novel from one of the best!"
Myra Johnson, award-winning author of Autumn Rains and A Horseman's Heart

"Stewart writes about powerful and basic emotions with a restraint that suggests depth and authenticity; the relationship between Sammie and her mother Rita, the engine that drives the plot, is beautifully and delicately rendered. Coming-of-age stories are a fiction staple, but well-done ones much rarer. This emotionally acute novel is one of the rare ones."—Publishers Weekly on Chasing Lilacs, starred review

"From the very first sentence of SWEET DREAMS, I knew I was in good hands with Carla Stewart as a storyteller. The language is lively, and there's a lot in the pages to keep a reader hurrying forward. Carla Stewart writes about friendship, love, family, and what it is to dream. This is a book that takes you back in time, one that makes you laugh, and most of all, one that causes you to consider the importance of family. SWEET DREAMS is a book to be savored and enjoyed. What a funny and touching read!"—William Torgerson, author of Love on the Big Screen and Horseshoe

"Carla Stewart has a knack for bringing to life the not-so-distant past of the 1950s and '60s. SWEET DREAMS is no exception. Rich in detail and relationship, this story of two cousins seeking their own dreams amidst a tangle of relationships and secrets tugs the heartstrings in every direction. A lovely journey to self-discovery, truth and freedom."—Anne Mateer, author of At Every Turn

"SWEET DREAMS draws you in to a simpler time with charm and humor. As two cousins dream and fret about the future, they see God's plans unfolding within them. Carla Stewart is masterful at creating characters you care about-and places that seem so real you feel like you've gone for a visit. Her details of Texas oilfields and ranches are so vivid that you can almost tasted the grit in your mouth."—Judy Christie, author of the Green Series and Wreath

"While the story is heartbreaking, there is much more to this book. The lives of Mitzi and Brooke are told both in present time and with flashbacks, weaving together love, loss, tragedy and friendship. Stewart skillfully entertains and engages the reader with each character's private pain and survival skills."—RT Book Reviews on Broken Wings

"Carla Stewart is one of the best at slicing out a piece of Americana and serving it to the reader in a delicious story. Stardust is a smooth, inviting, well told story that will stick with you long after you read the last line and close the book. A worthy read."—Rachel Hauck, award winning author of Dining with Joy, on Stardust

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455504275
  • Publisher: FaithWords
  • Publication date: 5/14/2013
  • Pages: 311
  • Sales rank: 986,845
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Carla Stewart's writing reflects her passion for times gone by. She launched her writing career in 2002 when she earned the coveted honor of being invited to attend Guidepost's Writers Workshop in Rye, New York. Since then, her articles have appeared in Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and several regional magazines and anthologies.

Carla received two American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis awards for unpublished authors. The novel that won in 2007 went on to become her first published novel-Chasing Lilacs which has garnered many rave reviews including a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly and 4 ½ stars from RT Book Reviews. Sweet Dreams is her fourth novel.

Carla graduated from the University of Oklahoma and worked as a registered nurse for a number of years. She and her engineer husband are the parents of four married sons and relish the adventures of their six grandchildren. She enjoys a good cup of coffee, great books, and weekend getaways with her husband. Learn more about Carla at www.carlastewart.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 10, 2013

    Dusty Fairchild found three rocks at her mother¿s funeral, gave

    Dusty Fairchild found three rocks at her mother’s funeral, gave one to her cousin Paisley, when she was 3 years old. She still had those two remaining rocks, which led her to deciding that she wanted to go to college to study Geology, but her father had different ideas. One year at Miss Fontaine’s finishing school, instead of heading off to college to study Geology, was what he promised, And then, maybe.
    Paisley traveled with her mother, Aunt Edith, moving all the time, lots of different guys in and out. She never had a stable life like her cousin Dusty. But now both of them were off to the finishing school, that was Dusty’s agreement to her going. If Paisley didn’t go, neither would she.
    In the 1960’s most of the time women in the south, especially, tended to be wives, homemakers and mothers as their life choice. I grew up during this time so I can identify so much with all of these girls, and the choices they had make. I even had a finishing class at the business school I attended. I cried and laughed with each of them throughout the story. The girls were sure they wouldn’t learn anything useful, they just needed to give it a chance.
    Both of the girls characters are well developed as they reach out towards the secondary characters, which were also very easy to get to know and love. This is a story of a time of learning about themselves, what they really want or need in the future. And it evolves to include their friends and their family, and a couple of guys.
    A couple of things I really related to were the ‘Estee Lauder Youth Dew’ perfume that was mentioned. I used that perfume after I was first married, loved it; Keds – the shoe of choice during that time; piercing their own ears; 60’s music; Brownie cameras and numerous other things that made me feel like I was right there in the story.
    I would recommend this to Young Adults and Adults alike. It was a delight to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2013

    Touching, Unforgettable Sweet Dreams is another fine masterpiece

    Touching, Unforgettable
    Sweet Dreams is another fine masterpiece told in Carla Stewart’s smooth, gentle drawl, as inviting as a gracious southern belle’s offer of an ice-cold lemonade on a dry Texas day. 
    It’s an engaging story of two young women entering into adulthood amid uncertainties about themselves and their dreams, steered by others in a time and culture when young women
    weren’t sure they had a say in who they were or who they could be woven through a colorful backdrop of the sixties and sprinkled with glimmers of the sixties’ music culture.

    Dusty Fairchild and Paisley Finch are each strong yet vulnerable in her own way. The heart-tugging conflict between two young women who should be able to count on each other
    made me ask myself what I would have done in their situation. Would I choose the way of grace? Would I pursue fulfillment of my dreams regardless the cost? 

    Sweet Dreams is a story about love, loyalty, secrets, and forgiveness. It’s about having the courage to voice your dreams and then believing you can make them come true.
    It’s an inspiring reminder to be yourself whether you fit in or not. It reminds us to not be so hasty to judge on appearances. And it reminds us how pride can rob us of time that
    could be spent with those we hold dearest, that we have a choice to love the family we have, regardless their shortcomings and mistakes.

    What I loved: Dusty’s wise grace toward others in spite of the way they treated her. I admired her courage to speak up when the need outweighed the consequences, and to be
    a person in her own right in a time when a woman didn’t have much of a voice. I admired the way she took her circumstances and made the best of it.

    I also loved Paisley’s inner strength, her ability to recognize the value of certain people in her life in spite of their disappointing flaws. She also took her circumstances and made
    the best of it, an admirable strength both young women possessed and, I think, inspired in each other.

    I applaud Dusty and Paisley for prodding each other to refresh their wish list often, and for keeping sight of their dream, and for trying their best to put family first even if family
    didn’t always put them first. Most of all, I appreciate the beauty of sacrificial love displayed by several characters, making it one of the most touching, unforgettable stories I’ve
    read in a long time. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    "Some scars are written on the heart. You might not be able

    "Some scars are written on the heart. You might not be able to see them but they're there."

    After the death of her mother, Dusty Fairchild has always dreamed of going to college to study Geology, but her father, Flint Fairchild, self made owner of Fairchild Oil has other plans. He wants her to spend a year attending Miss Fontaine's Finishing School for Girls in East Texas. Dusty can't seem to understand how that will benefit her but she is willing to go as long as her childhood best friend and cousin, Paisley Finch is allowed to attend with her. Just how will young girls born and raised on a ranch fit in among the wealthy young women who will be their roommates for the year. Seems like things are about to get real interesting!

    Amid learning about manners, etiquette, setting up social functions and parties, and learning French, Dusty and Paisley attempt to fit in as best as they can. But Paisley has spent her life living on a tour bus while her mother Edie has been searching for fame and fortune in the many nightclubs and bars they frequent. However, Paisley has been receiving far more attention from her mother's boyfriends than she could ever ask for and finds spending the year at Miss Fontaine's will be the break she is looking for. It provides stability and security she never had traveling on the road, never knowing where they would wake up next. She considers her life like that of a traveling gypsy.

    As the year progresses and the girls begin making holiday plans, Dusty is anxious to get back to her father and the young banker, Jack she met before leaving. It is what every girl dreams of, falling in love with a handsome young man, who can provide stability for a future wife and family. She only hopes Jack feels the same way as she does after being away at school. Paisley on the other hand, has been invited by her roommate Alexandria to head to Houston in preparation for her engagement party and visiting the wealthy elite. It is a chance to see a side of life she has never seen before, if only she can find a way to fit in and not embarrass herself in the process. What she doesn't plan on is falling quite literally for Jack before she heads out for the winter break. How will she be able to manage her feelings for her cousin and her feelings for Jack?

    I received Sweet Dreams by Carla Stewart compliments of Faith Words, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. This is a coming of age story of two young girls set in the 1960's in Texas. One from a life of influence and the other from a life of living on the road. While they can often times compliment one another, those very different qualities often create tension as Paisley attempts to fit in with the majority of the girls who come from affluent families. Paisley resists trying to be someone she isn't and it is something Dusty looks up to, her strength and determination to achieve what she wants in life. But for Paisley she isn't sure just what the future hold for her, where as Dusty struggles to gain the approval of her father to allow her the freedom to make her own choices regarding her future. I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars and it does contain a Reader's Discussion Guide for Book Clubs at the end of the novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2014

    Boring. Just a surface novel where things just seemed fluffy, n

    Boring. Just a surface novel where things just seemed fluffy, not getting down to the nitty gritty. Somewhat unrealistic. Would not recommend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This s a delightfully clean story of a couple of young women rai

    This s a delightfully clean story of a couple of young women raise in the nineteen  fifties and sixties.
    Many "baby boomers" can truly relate to much of tis story.

    Dusty and Paisley were first cousins who felt more like sisters until tragedy hit Dusty and her family
    while she was still very young. After that, her aunt fled Texas with her young daughter.

    Through the following years, the two cousins mostly kept connected by letters and an occasional visit
    usually ending in conflict between their sibling parents.  Dusty's dad ""hit it big" so finances was never
    an issue. Paisley's mom was a different issue, of which Paisley preferred not to dwell on.

    When the two girls graduated from High School, Dusty's dad insisted they go to finishing school before
     they could  pursue anything else. Dusty didn't have much choice but Paisley fought her mother's
    objections and won!  This is the only consolation Dusty could feel. She would finally get to spend time
    with her beloved cousin.

    'Sweet Dreams' is the story primarily set around the two girls experiences and the emotional, plus,
     personal growth that resulted from that year of their lives. Many lessons are learned other than those of
     etiquette and manners.

    This drama also possesses romance, adventure and a little mystery, as well.

    The characters are established in a manner one feels personally acquainted with them. The
    surrounding environment and background is described in detail.

    The cover picture is somewhat descriptive but I would have preferred one with a little more personality.
    The title is good yet could have been more original.

    The story slowly built and the last part really added to the momentum.  It dragged a little in the middle of
    the plot. It felt somewhat repetitive. For these reasons alone I do not offer this book a full five stars in my
    review of it.

    This book was graciously sent to me by the author for an honest review of which I have given.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    Deathclaw: never mind I quit

    I joined george clan

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    May i join

    Im dapplestream may i join

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Brownstaff

    You may join - FlameStar

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    Maplerain

    A medium sized shecat padded in, her reddish-amber eyes bright." Hiya! I'm Maplerain, may I join?"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    May I Join?

    A brown and russet tabby tom padded in. He was 14 moons old and had bright yellow eyes. "Hi! I'm Brownstaff! May I Join?"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2013

    Silvermist to Flamestar

    Great darkness is coming, much blood will spill, Starclan will become many, only the great of sone can save us

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2013

    Silkkit

    Plz help my mommy was killed by a monster and i have no home

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2013

    Coldfrost

    Thank you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    Wachts from bush with kits

    A smoky black kit was about to run onto the clearing but his litter mate knockked him over

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    Silvertail

    Of course!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2013

    Timeclaw

    Purrs

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2013

    A med cat

    A small grey and white med came in. "Hi." She mewed sweetly. "Would any of you want to help Spartanclan? They lost their deputy and need help fighting off the evil clan. I am not telling you to join, just to help fight an evil clan for one battle." (Want to help? Go to 'spartan time' res one)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    Kaan

    Here

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    Nightahade

    Lets go!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    Cottonfur

    The white she cat sat looking around confused. She had been wandering for months now looking for a home.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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