Friday, March 14, 2014

Review: Gastien: The Cost of the Dream by Caddy Rowland

Gastien: The Cost of the Dream

Book One of the Gastien Series

by Caddy Rowland

Released 8/3/2011
Genre: Historical Fiction, Family Saga, Drama, and Literary Fiction
FOR THOSE OVER 18: Graphic sex and one sex scene that is violent
493 pages
ISBN: 1463789777


When young Gastien Beauchamp flees the farm for Paris, the late nineteenth century bohemian era is in full swing. Color has always called to him, beseeching him to capture it on canvas and show people a new way of seeing things. His father belittled his dream of being an artist and tried to beat him into giving it up. The dream wouldn’t die, but Gastien would have had he not left.

He also yearns to become a great lover. After the years of anguish he has endured at the hand of his father, it would be heaven to feel pleasure instead of pain.
However, the city of Paris has a ruthless agenda. Unless a man has money and connections, Paris unfeelingly crushes dreams and destroys souls. With neither of the required assets, Gastien faces living in alleys, digging in trash bins for food, and sleeping where a man is often killed for his threadbare blanket.

Left with only his dreams, Gastien stubbornly pushes on. He vows that absolutely nothing will stop him, not yet realizing what keeping that vow might mean. Sometimes the “impossible” is possible – but the cost can be extremely high.

This historical fiction novel is book 1 of a 5 book drama/family saga for adults (The Gastien Series).  As such, it contains adult themes and graphic scenes. Each book can stand on its own, but is most compelling read in order. [Provided by the author]

My thoughts

Without a doubt Caddy Rowland has masterfully crafted a character driven novel.  Gastien’s life is plagued by brutality, even as a young boy, and few could help but admire his determination to see his dream of becoming an artist without admiration.  It is a dream he never wavers from despite numerous seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  Without a doubt Gastien is a survivor, but his strength and determination are not without cost to his soul. 

I have to admit that at times I had to put the novel aside as it was just too brutal for me to continue.  This is not in anyway a criticism of the novel, but rather it was so well written that any survivor of human depravity would understand at times it simply hit too close to home. 

Truly the strength of the novel is the rich development of each and every character the reader encounters.  It has been some time since I have read a novel that truly brings to life all the personas that inhabit its pages and for that alone Gastien: The Cost of the Dream is a must read. 

Rowland just as masterfully describes the various settings with skillful detail and gives her reader a real sense of the existence of struggling artists, the confines of society and the various spheres of Paris that the characters inhabit.  It is not a romantic or pretty portrayal, but a realistic one.  Gastien: The Cost of the Dream is not a pretty story, but one that is very true to real life.  His struggles, his compromises and his resilience are part of the human existence. 

Gastien: The Cost of the Dream is the first installment in a series and I eagerly await Caddy Rowland’s further exploration in the development of the character of Gastien as I look forward to what the future holds for this remarkable character.  I recommend Gastien: The Cost of the Dream enthusiastically with the reminder that the novel contains graphic descriptions of physical violence, explicit sex and is for adult readers only.

About the Author

Caddy Rowland grew up with a stack of books that almost reached the ceiling before she was five. Books, along with her vivid imagination, have always been some of her closest friends.

She lives with her husband, who was her high school sweetheart. They are owned by two parrots. Besides being a writer, she is an artist. One can often find her “makin’ love to the color” (painting) with loud music blaring.

Her goal as an author is to make readers laugh, cry, think, and become intimately connected with her main characters. She writes dramatic novels showcasing the sublime joy and bitter tragedy of being human. [From the author's Amazon page]

To get her books and get in touch with her:

Author Central Page on Amazon 
Author Email: caddyauthor at yahoo dot com
Twitter: @caddyorpims

Additional books in the Gastien Series:

 Second Book in Series:  Gastien:  From Dream to Destiny 
 Released: 10/2/2013
 Available via:  Createspace and Kindle



  1. Thank you for reading Gastien. I appreciate you taking the time to do so, and I'm glad you liked it!

  2. thanks so much for your nice and thorough review. Emma

  3. Caddy Rowland is an author who truly cares about the struggles humanity endures and overcomes.

    1. I couldn't agree more. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!!

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