"The eye-catching cover of the Dream Circle gives a hint to the treat that lies within the pages with its partial setting in Dublin at Sandymount beach, in landmarks such as O’Donoghue’s bar and Searsons and also in Cork.
Author, Máire Malone’s training in counselling and psychotherapy and her passion for interpreting dreams is at the core of her book.
The complex central character, Fergus, is a psychotherapist/dreams analyst and facilitator of the Dream Circle. He attracts a diverse group to sign up for the meetings held in a primary school. Not only are their powerful individual dreams fascinating but their back stories and the way they interact as a collective make this a compelling novel.
Boundaries and barriers are a theme running through the storyline. The reason why people are there for the Dream Circle meetings unfolds in a fascinating way with some seemingly unlikely participants initially.
Fergus is conflicted as he enters into a relationship with one of the group, Pearl, a traveller. They both have troubled pasts and seek solace and the reader shares their unease as their romance which breaks ethical boundaries develops and is also destructive to Pearl.
‘The Dream Circle’ gives us much to think about not least the question posted on the sleeve, ‘Can lives truly be transformed through the power of dreams?’
I’d like to see more from Máire Malone, a thought provoking author."
Catherine Murphy, Communications Manager, Irish Radio
" Inventive and highly readable novel with real depth."
"This is a mature and complex debut novel. A nonfiction book on the power of dreams and the unconscious would be fascinating but less accessible. Putting these ideas into a story is, on the other hand ambition and challenging for any writer, particularly a debut novelist. Novels with something big to communicate often come across as trying too hard or the characters feel forced, but not in The Dream Circle. These are utterly believable people. They are vulnerable, flawed and complex. Fergus, the therapeutic leader of the circle, and Pearl, particularly shine and their relationship is never glib or easy. Is it even ethical? Will it thrive? Buy the book and find out. It’s a fantastic read."
Dr. J.E. Fortune
" A must read for anyone interested in exploring their dreams and the unconscious."
The Dream Circle follows a group of ordinary people as they explore their dreams, the group therapy aspect of the book reminded me of Yalom’s fiction and in my opinion matched it.
Despite knowing lots about dreams and dream work due to my own work as a psychotherapist, reading the dream circle took me on a journey and re-introduced me to Jung’s work on the collective unconscious. The book manages to introduce tricky concepts seamlessly into an absorbing novel that explores the mind. The characters have psychological depth and the love story element was both gritty and warming.
I really enjoyed this read, found it well paced and to top it off it has made me want to visit Ireland. "
Dr Kamal Kainth
" A deep and intelligent novel."
"The Dream Circle is a love story with a difference! Pain and passion go hand in hand and there is poetry in her beautiful narrative.
I loved the insightful glimpses into the therapeutic world of Jung and how it is woven into the fabric of the story, giving meaning to each one of the character's dreams. I will start looking into mine!!!
More please Máire Malone. "
"An original, tough but charming romance."
"I really enjoyed this Dublin-set story of Pearl and Fergus, two very different people who gradually overcome the obstacles that threaten to stall their relationship. The dream-circle setting was new to me and quite fascinating, an original background to a love story. The characters from the dream-circle provide a lively background and chorus to Pearl and Fergus's travails, and their own stories are just as interesting. Hope to see more from this author soon! "
"Dreams Have Power."
"A thoroughly good read. With a flawed hero Fergus and brave heroine Pearl, The Dream Circle offers a profound exploration of their redemptive love story, set against past traumas. A poetic page turner, the novel also shows how dreams-if attended to-can influence conscious life choices. Now buy your own dream journal if you dare... "
Dr. E.T. Mann
" Fascinating, enlightening and heartwarming."
"It’s my belief that we are all “poor beggars” in a sense,’ I said. ‘But many deny their tattered edges. Prefer to travel through life on the glitter coaches of delusion. They can’t bear to acknowledge their woundedness.’ A group of diverse people meet in a primary school classroom and perched on infant chairs, begin to find ways to connect their dreams to wounded realities, led by Fergus who, together with the enigmatic Pearl, narrates the story. A soulful, poetic novel which inspired me to ponder my own dreams and book a trip to Dublin. Can't wait to read Máire Malone's next book. "
"As a Counsellor/psychotherapist, I found The Dream Circle a fascinating read, both for the content and beautiful poetic language. The relationship between Fergus and his supervisor Dan was very important, like a good Father and son, with all Dan’s best interests at heart coping with raw human emotions and how they impact on others.
Máire Malone’s extensive knowledge of dream work and the collective unconsciousness was riveting as was the relationship between Fergus and the wild beauty Pearl so that I wasn’t sure how it would end. All in all a very memorable book."
"Interesting and thought provoking"
"A great read! Delightful story of two very different people & their backgrounds yet deep & thought provoking. Really enjoyed this & looking forward to authors next book."
"A Novel not to be missed"
The Dream Circle is a gem of a first novel by Máire Malone which I urge you to read.
It most effectively draws you into her beloved Dublin and the surrounding Bay, making both the vibrant city and the surrounding coastline, vast open strands and ever-changing weather patterns – equal and essential characters alongside those of the Dream Circle itself.
Against this backdrop the year’s duration of the newly formed therapeutic prototype Dream Circle unfolds, with the main characters – Pearl and Fergus and their emerging stories, being played out alongside those of the other Dream Circle members. It is an intriguing, complicated journey these characters are on, both as flawed individuals – all strangers to begin with – and then, as the story unfolds, as an emerging tight-knit group of fellow-travellers.
As their collective personal stories draw you in, like me, you will find this most compelling story very hard to put down.
It informs and intrigues in equal measure, whilst making excellent and most creative use of the author’s own wide knowledge of, and experience in, both psychotherapy and dream work itself. A powerful mix indeed!
This novel is not to be missed."
"Thought provoking and feel good read"
Loved this book. Found it hard to put down. Beautifully written. A feel good read. Thought provoking. Fergus and Pearl meet when Fergus sets up the Dream Circle to facilitate a group of people to explore their dreams. What a wonderful idea the Dream Circle! I wonder will it inspire people to set up their own dream circle to explore their dreams? I look forward to Máire’s next book."
Mary E M
"This was an excellent read. All the characters, from the main characters Pearl and Fergus to the supporting characters were all very well rounded and believable. The story line was fantastic with the Dream Circle as the backdrop to the unfolding story. For someone like me, who knows absolutely nothing about dream psychology, the explanations about the dream circle and the analysis of dreams were fascinating. The story itself was very wide and deep, narrated by Pearl and Fergus intermittently with insights from the other characters whose own back stories were also very well narrated and meaningful. The settings, mostly in Dublin and to a lesser extent in Cork, were beautifully described and you could imagine yourself there witnessing the events as they unfold. The book was definitely a page turner, hard to put down and it is difficult not to become embroiled in the characters so much so that you worry about what the outcome might be at the end whilst at the same time not wanting it to end. I highly recommend this book and look forward to Ms Malone's next offering."
"Hard to put down, a great read."
"Really enjoyed The Dream Circle. It was such an absorbing story about how the two leading characters meet and connect and I found it difficult to put down. The dream group and analysis element made it extra interesting and threw interesting insights into the lives and background of the two main characters as well as the supporting characters. I would really recommend this novel and really look forward to more from Máire Malone."
"A gripping and Moving Story"
"From the first page I was drawn into this tale of love and self-discovery. All the characters are beautifully drawn and absolutely believeable, especially the lead characters of Pearl and Fergus. The dynamics between the different people who attend the Dream Circle to discover more about their inner lives are perfectly shown, and their journeys of self-understanding and healing are very moving. I learned a lot about dreams, and also about Ireland and Irish poetry and mythology, and also about traveller culture. Highly recommended."
"Such an enjoyable Read"
"If you saw an advertisement for a course that would help you understand your dreams, wouldn't you sign up? I would be there in a heartbeat! Such a great concept for a book. As Máire developed the characters in this dream circle, I found that I was drawn into their stories and thoroughly enjoyed this romantic novel. Looking forward to more from this author."