Dreaming Sophia Book Review & Giveaway

Visiting Italy has been on my wishlist even before the days of my college, art history classes. The language, the architecture, the rich history, the culture--the food--offer so much. When I was offered the opportunity to read and review Dreaming Sophia, the first novel by Melissa Muldoon, I was excited to share in her love of Italy. What did I think of Dreaming Sophia?

I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of a book tour. My readers may also enter to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.

Quick Summary of Dreaming Sophia. Dreaming Sophia is a magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture. It is a story about turning dreams into reality and learning to walk the fine line between fact and fantasy. When tragedy strikes, Sophia finds herself alone in the world, without direction and fearful of loving again. With only her vivid imagination to guide her, she begins a journey that will take her from the vineyards in Sonoma, California to a grad school in Philadelphia and, eventually, to Italy: Florence, Lucca, Rome, Verona, Venice, and Val d’Orcia.

​Through dreamlike encounters, Sophia meets Italian personalities—princes, poets, duchesses, artists, and film stars— who give her advice to help put her life back together. Following a path that takes her from grief to joy, she discovers the source of her creativity and learns to love again, turning her dreams into reality.

Dreaming Sophia guides readers through the Italian culture.   While the author takes readers on a fictional quest as the main character finds her path in life--the realistic novel guides readers through the history and culture of Italy.  Readers will meet artists and writers, historical figures and film legends as Sophia allows her dreams to guide her through her days.

Readers will find beauty (and hope) on nearly every page.  Even through Sophia's early struggles and loss--she shares her love of the Italian language, art, history and her mother's inspirational dreams and experiences.  As the character finds herself moving through life in both the United States and in Italy--she shares a dream like hope and wonder throughout the entire book.

The author's love of Italy warms readers.   Muldoon captures the beauty of Italy and shares her many loves of the country with readers.  Her writing style transports readers effortlessly to other places and times with such imagery that readers will feel themselves on the streets of Italy with Sophia.

Would I recommend Dreaming Sophia by Melissa Muldoon?  This was a beautiful book.  I found myself smiling--and finding my own peace with life's flow--as Sophia sought her personal course.   Whether you know a great deal about Italy--and love the culture--or know little and would love to learn more--this book is both educational and inspirational.

Buy the Book:  

Meet the Author:
Melissa Muldoon is the Studentessa Matta-the crazy linguist! In Italian, "matta" means "crazy" or "impassioned". Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master's degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has also studied painting and art history in Florence.

Melissa promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog, Studentessa Matta ( Melissa began the Matta blog to improve her command of the language and to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a podcast, "Tutti Matti per l'Italiano" and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Tours, which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy.

Dreaming Sophia is Melissa's first novel. It is a fanciful look at art history and Italian language and culture, but it is also the culmination of personal stories and insights resulting from her experiences living in Italy, as well as her involvement and familiarity with the Italian language, painting, and art history.

As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she'd never need it again but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That "thing" was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event! Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency-a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways.
Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is married and has three boys and two beagles.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Dreaming Sophia. She also designed the Dreaming Sophia website and created the character illustrations that can be found in the book and on the Dreaming Sophia websites.

Connect with the Author:  
Website  ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Youtube ~ Pinterest

Enter to Win a Prize in the Book Tour Giveaway
Win a copy of Dreaming Sophia (print open to USA & Can, ebook int’l) 
One winner will get the grand prize package that includes 
a copy of the book, calendar, mug and tote bag (USA & CAN only) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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