My rating: 3 of 5 stars
the logline: married new mom finds that her dreams are leaking over into reality… uh oh.
this book is, for me (very subjective opinion coming!), a bit like the puppy you thoroughly adore but which will not stop peeing on the rug. the parts in the real world are charming and sweet, for the most part; the parts in the dream world (Rondua) are–well, like dreams. vivid, disconnected, not amenable to interpretation.
i am not a fan of extensive dream-stuff in a novel; unless a dream serves to push the dreamer into an act in the real world, i honestly just can’t understand what it’s there for. a person’s dreams are of intense interest to that person, and for most of the rest of us, ho-hum. we can’t feel the emotion that the dreamer felt, and the symbols or sights/sounds/smells to which the dreamer reacts generally don’t translate to the listener.
if, in this book, we could at least feel an emotional thread running through the dreams, it would compensate for their necessary disconnectedness. but one never develops any emotional investment in the characters of the dream world, but one. so it reads like random stuff happening to random (unloved) characters, for the most part.
the part of the book that occurs in the real world does contain one perfectly sweet and moving thing: the depiction of the protagonist and her (future) husband falling in love, getting married, and having a kid. it’s a little thin on the kid parts, but the wife and husband are a wonderful pair, and it is a loving and gentle journey one takes with them through the book.
friendships are also drawn with sweetness and occasional silly joy.
one could not just skip the dream parts and enjoy the real-world parts; the book does fuse the two inseparably. and for those who enjoy a sort of impressionistic, jazzy, paint-daubs-on-the-canvas imagery, the dream sections will be quite a lot of fun. so, if you like that, i bet you’d really really dig this book; if not, you’re going to find yourself a tad less than enthralled in Rondua.
but still! an enjoyable read.