Beautiful Dreamers

Beautiful Dreamers

by: Minrose Gwin
Release date: Aug 27th, 2024

It’s 1953 when Memory Feather and her mother, Virginia, are welcomed back home to the Mississippi Gulf Coast community of Belle Cote by Virginia’s childhood friend Mac McFadden, whose verve and energy buoy the recently divorced Virginia to embrace this new chapter. Read More

Hardcover - $28.00
(ISBN: 979-8-88574-036-4)

From Minrose Gwin, award-winning author of The Accidentals, comes Beautiful Dreamers, a story of a precocious teen and her mother, their gay best friend, and the con man who unravels their family.

It’s 1953 when Memory Feather and her mother, Virginia, are welcomed back home to the Mississippi Gulf Coast community of Belle Cote by Virginia’s childhood friend Mac McFadden, whose verve and energy buoy the recently divorced Virginia to embrace this new chapter. Memory (“Mem”) is unlike other girls: she is attuned to the voices of plants and animals and is missing two fingers on her twisted left hand. The three of them knit their lives together and become a close, though unconventional, family.

While Mac’s wealth, brains, and good humor have allowed him to carve out a niche in Belle Cote, his position as a gay man active in the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement exposes him to censure, harassment, and even brutality. When the unscrupulous and charismatic Tony Amato arrives in Belle Cote as Mac’s “guest,” he sets in motion a series of events that will shatter familial bonds and forever change Mem’s life. Now, an adult Mem recounts the story of the scars Tony left in her teenage years, confronting her culpability in the disastrous events of that final summer.

Sweeping, dramatic, and vividly rendered, Beautiful Dreamers is a novel of innocence and betrayal, love and intolerance, and the care and honesty we owe the families we choose.

Praise for Beautiful Dreamers & Minrose Gwin

“A too-bright, too-observant girl with a withered hand and her single mother, who dispenses as much magic as mayhem. The town homosexual, magnificent but beleaguered in the Mississippi of 1953. The beautiful hustler who comes into their lives.... Could this be a family? Yes, for a while, but families disappoint, and families betray, and wisdom comes at a price in the edenic coastal village of Belle Cote. Gwin one more time proves her mastery of the Delta landscape, human and geographic, in prose as rich as a New Orleans praline and a story that would have raised the eyebrows of Tennessee Williams.” —Wilton Barnhardt, author of Lookaway, Lookaway and Western Alliances
“Minrose Gwin’s Beautiful Dreamers was a dream from which I didn't want to wake, a novel set in the vivid world of 1950s Gulf Coast Mississippi, peopled with complex and charismatic characters who together redefine family. Gwin is a skillful, compassionate, wise storyteller, one who finds hope in the antidotes to violence and hate: family and love, truth and justice. I have been a fan of Minrose Gwin’s work for years, and Beautiful Dreamers is, hands down, my favorite: a book that I couldn’t put down and didn’t want to end.” —Lori Ostlund, author of After the Parade and The Bigness of the World
"Beautiful Dreamers by Minrose Gwin is an exquisite tapestry of rich emotions and life altering experiences by characters whose stories will captivate readers from the beginning of the novel until its phenomenal ending. Gwin's masterful storytelling transports us to 1950s Mississippi Gulf Coast, where the bonds of friendship and family are tested. Through the compelling characters of Memory Feather, Virginia, and Mac McFadden, Gwin weaves a narrative that is as poignant as it is powerful. The many challenges that are faced by these characters are portrayed with sensitivity and depth. Gwin's prose is nothing short of breathtaking, painting vivid portraits of love and resilience underneath the backdrop of the south during a tumultuous time in history. This book is truly one for the ages." —Angela Jackson-Brown, author of Homeward
“Poignant, unsettling, wise. By turns hilarious and profound, this rich insightful novel explores the bravery of Deep Southerners who cannot bear cruelty, who will not tolerate prejudice. Gwin’s unforgettable characters navigate a brutal world ever-so-slowly bending toward justice, where billy clubs mercifully are no match for a majorette’s baton.” —John Howard, author of Men Like That and Truths Up His Sleeve
“One of this generation’s great novelists” —Margaret Randall, author of Time’s Language: Selected Poems 1959-2018
“Gwin is a fiercely talented writer.” —Jaimee Wriston Colbert, author of Wild Things
“Artfully crafted” —Kirkus Reviews for The Accidentals
“A sensitive coming-of-age story…saturated with heartbreak but still offering hope.” —Booklist for The Accidentals
“Every page of this gripping drama shines with unexpected flashes of beauty and brilliance.” —George Bishop, author of The Night of the Comet for The Accidentals
“Lyrically precise, taut, and realistic” —Julie Kibler, bestselling author of Calling Me Home for Promise
“The beauty of the prose, the strength of voice and the sheer force of circumstance will hold the reader spellbound” —Jill McCorkle, author of The Going Away Shoes for The Queen of Palmyra
Minrose Gwin

Minrose Gwin

Minrose Gwin is the author of the novels The Queen of Palmyra, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award; Promise, which was shortlisted for the Willie Morris Award in Southern Literature; and The Accidentals, which received the 2020 Mississippi Institute for Arts and Letters Award in Fiction. She has also published a memoir, Wishing for Snow, about the collision of poetry and psychosis in her mother’s life, and four books of literary and cultural criticism, most recently Remembering Medgar Evers: Writing the Long Civil Rights Movement. She was co-editor of The Literature of the American South, a Norton anthology, and The Southern Literary Journal.

Like the characters in her novels, Minrose Gwin is a native of Mississippi. She began her writing career as a journalist and later taught at universities across the country, most recently the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her partner, Ruth Salvaggio, and several loquacious four-leggeds.

For more information about Minrose’s memoir and novels, see

Error Message