Driven from the only home he has known during Ireland’s Great Hunger of 1847, Fergus O’Brien makes the harrowing journey from County Clare to America, traveling with bold girls, pearl boys, navvies, and highwaymen. Along the way, Fergus meets his three passionate loves–Phoebe, Luke, and Molly–vivid, unforgettable characters, fresh and willful.
Based on Peter Behrens’s own family history, The Law of Dreams is lyrical, emotional, and thoroughly extraordinary–a searing tale of ardent struggle and ultimate perseverance.
About the Author
Peter Behrens' short stories and essays have appeared in "The Atlantic Monthly," "Tin House," "Saturday Night," and "The National Post" and have been anthologized in "Best Canadian Stories" and "Best Canadian Essays," He is the author of a collection of short stories, "Night Driving" (Macmillan). Behrens was a Fellow of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and held a prestigious Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. He was born in Montreal and lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and son.
“Absorbing, unsparing, and beautifully written . . . [a] masterly novel.”
–The New York Times Book Review
“Stunningly lyric . . . a work of richly empathetic imagination that reminds us once again of how powerful historical fiction can be in skilled hands.”
–Los Angeles Times
“Superb . . . an emotional epic bearing echoes of Melville and Ondaatje, conveying scents and shimmers of a vanished world under the skin of our own.”
–Jonathan Lethem, author of You Don’t Love Me Yet
“Extraordinary . . . a novel that animates the past this vibrantly should make volumes of mere history blush.”
–The Washington Post Book World
“Sprawling, cinematic, exquisitely detailed, exactingly researched, and keenly felt . . . a powerful work of excavation that achieves what historical fiction often can’t–credibility, along with a sense of the transportive.”
“Riveting . . . Behrens turns the archetypal immigrant’s journey into Homeric epic.”
–The Providence Journal
“A beautifully written, poetically inspired tale of heroism, love, yes and sex, and the triumph of the human spirit.”
–Malachy McCourt, author of A Monk Swimming