Book Review & Giveaway: Dreaming Sophia by Melissa Muldoon


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.

Buy the Book:  

My Review

I received a free e-copy of this book and chose to review it. All opinions are my own and are unbiased.

Dreaming Sophia is about a woman who experiences a tragedy early in her life. She learns to cope with it by embracing her love of art and history. She relies on “dreaming” about important historical figures who help her make decisions and get through life.

I have never been to Italy but Melissa Muldoon brings the art and history of Italy come alive. I happen to have a book with amazing photos of Italy so I took that out and it made the reading of this book even more injoyable.

I recommend Dreaming Sophia to anyone who enjoys good fiction that incorporates the history of Italy.



About the Author

melissa-muldoonMelissa 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




Prizes: 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) 7 winners total

Ends Dec 24

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3 thoughts on “Book Review & Giveaway: Dreaming Sophia by Melissa Muldoon

  1. Myra October 19, 2017 / 9:21 pm

    I’m interested in the publishing. Did she self publish? Here book is available in all these places.


    • sleepygirl2 October 20, 2017 / 10:59 am

      The publisher is listed as Matta Press but I can’t find anything about it. You could go to one of the links to contact her to find out.


      • Myra October 20, 2017 / 9:20 pm

        Oh thanks I will.

        Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.