Sweet Dreams: A Novel

Sweet Dreams: A Novel

by Carla Stewart


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455504275
Publisher: FaithWords
Publication date: 05/14/2013
Pages: 311
Sales rank: 1,204,885
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About 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Carla received two American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis awards for unpublished authors.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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Sweet Dreams: A Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
CherK1 More than 1 year ago
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.
CamilleEide More than 1 year ago
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. 
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
"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.
VirtuousWomanKF More than 1 year ago
Boring. Just a surface novel where things just seemed fluffy, not getting down to the nitty gritty. Somewhat unrealistic. Would not recommend.
LAWonder More than 1 year ago
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.
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