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Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Dream Keeper's Daughter by Emily Colin

Title: The Dream Keeper’s Daughter
Author: Emily Colin
Publisher: 25 July 2017 by Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine
Pages: 482 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: fiction, romance, time travel
My Rating: 2.5 crowns


An archaeologist discovers her presumed-missing boyfriend is trapped more than a hundred years in the past—a love story that transcends time and place, from the author of the New York Times bestseller The Memory Thief.

Eight years after the unsolved disappearance of her boyfriend Max Adair, archaeologist Isabel Griffin has managed to move on and rebuild her life with her young daughter, Finn, her last tie to Max. But after a series of strange incidents, Isabel begins to wonder if Max might still be alive somewhere, trying to communicate with her. She has no idea that the where isn’t the problem—it’s the when. Max has slipped through time and place, landing on his ancestral family plantation in 1816 Barbados, on the eve of a historic slave uprising. As Isabel searches for answers, Max must figure out not only how to survive the violence to come, but how to get back to his own century, the woman he loves, and the daughter he has only ever met in his dreams.

My Thoughts

‘He let me tell him about the tombs and the dust, the exhilaration I’d felt when I touched a shard of pottery no one had seen for thousands of years, brushed the dirt from it, and lifted it from the earth.’

Reading the blurb for this book, I considered it right up my alley - all the elements I enjoy in a book. There was time travel, bringing in a historical aspect; the mystery of people going missing and family secrets, with the plight of a young woman trying to raise her child. Sounds promising.

Sadly, it did not live up to expectation. There are aspects of the book that are okay, the historical scenes obviously being the most compelling - fascinating to learn more about the slave rebellion in Barbados in the 1800s. The discovery of a broken piece of jewellry at an archaeological dig site in Barbados was clever. But it was about this stage that it all went downhill for me, which was sad, as the research was there:

‘This farce of a bill—put forth by that abolitionist arse Wilberforce in Parliament—requires West Indian planters to register all of our slaves by name to prevent illegal trading in the wake of the Abolition Act.’

It’s hard to really put my finger on it, being there are so many different aspects that I had trouble with, starting with, who exactly is ‘the dream keeper’? Overall it would appear that this book has an identity crisis: the whole supernatural aspect of time travel was never really explained (the dates of Julia and Max never really added up), neither were Finn’s abilities. I don’t wish to be derogatory, so let’s leave it as there were just too many aspects, none of which were resolved in a satisfactory manner, and some in fact, took focus away from the story.  For example, the dialogue was at times juvenile and immature, not fitting the character eg. whether they had ‘concealer’ (really!) and a male lead worried about ‘snobbish human beings’. Me thinks not.

I really wanted to like this book but it just seemed all over the place. Big issues never addressed and never really making sense, combined with some amateurish dialogue attempt at humour.

“Please listen to me. Don’t do to your daughter what I did to mine. Don’t let the obsession devour you—because believe me, honey, it will if you let it.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

1 comment:

Mystica said...

Pity it did not work out. The story sounds so good and so workable!