Book Description

iona-dreamingA journey of healing takes Clare Cooper Marcus to the Scottish island of Iona and a 6-month solitary retreat. Here in this magical place she finds a setting that mirrors her soul.  She reflects on her life – from a childhood in wartime England, to Berkeley in the 60s, marriage, family, and a career in academia. This compelling memoir is an inspirational account of personal survival in which the author also shares the story of her recovery from life-threatening illness, and of experiences and dreams which have resulted in physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.

Clare Cooper Marcus draws on both a personal and an academic fascination with the interface of people and place.  Her five previous books about the human response to architecture and the environment were popular with both professionals and the general public. Iona Dreaming will appeal to a broad audience: those who believe in the importance of an examined life; lovers of nature; gardeners; those dealing with serious illness; architects, landscape architects, and psychologists;  those entering retirement; and all  who seek a more authentic life.

Author Biography

img_3294Clare Cooper Marcus is Professor Emerita in the Departments of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the Principal of Healing Landscapes, a consulting firm that specializes in researching the effectiveness of restorative landscapes in healthcare settings. She is internationally recognized for her research on the social and psychological implications of design, particularly urban open space, affordable housing, and environments for children and  the elderly.

Marcus has been recognized for her work with awards from the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Horticultural Therapy Association, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She has authored/co-authored/edited numerous publications, including six previous books – Easter Hill Village (1975), Housing As If People Mattered (1984), People Places (1990, 1998), House as a Mirror of Self (1994), Healing Gardens (1999), and Therapeutic Landscapes (2014). She lives in Berkeley, California, holds joint British and American citizenship, is a mother, grandmother, poet, and passionate gardener.

Tell Your Story

Is there a specific physical place that you feel has helped you during a period of physical, emotional, or spiritual healing? If you are willing to share the story of your experience with this place, please contact the author at

Publisher and distributors

Published April 2010 by Nicolas Hays, Inc, Lake Worth FL

Distributed to the trade – North America: Red Wheel / Weiser, LLC (Newburyport. MA)

– UK : Deep Books (London, England)