Happy Thursday! Today I have a review of The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker and available from Random House on January 15, 2019!
The Dreamers is a different sort of read for me, and I’m grateful I read it. The premise? A disease is affecting a college town causing unstoppable sleep and vividly strange dreams.
It all starts at a university in Southern California when a student, Kara, falls asleep and no one can rouse her, not her roommate, Mei, and not even the doctors at the hospital. That event is then followed by another student, and then another, and then the town is sieged with panic by this unknown and perplexing illness.
At first no one knows why this is happening. Are the students playing a prank? With the doctors finding no known medical cause, just what could be going on? I personally cannot imagine how scared I would feel in that situation.
Karen Thompson Walker’s writing is stunning, and I found my emotions all over the place while reading. At times, I was panicked and forlorn, like the townspeople and students. Other times I was emotional over the effects of this disease on the community and individuals within it. There was palpable tension, and again, that frightfulness. Not in the horror kind of way, but in that unknown, insidious, completely out-of-your-control kind of way. The exploration of dreams versus reality was also captivating.
The Dreamers is all about the characters and their raw and authentic emotions. I was so completely transfixed I felt like I was a resident of the town, too. I found The Dreamers a memorable, thought-provoking, insightful, and frightening page-turner. This book spans genres, including eerily tense suspense, light science fiction, and dystopian; all on a backdrop of a glorious character study. Loved it!
Thank you to the publisher for the complimentary ARC. All opinions are my own.
A mesmerizing novel about a college town transformed by a strange illness that locks victims in a perpetual sleep and triggers life-altering dreams—by the bestselling author of The Age of Miracles, for fans of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.
In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. Then a second girl falls asleep, and then another, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, classes are canceled, and stores begin to run out of supplies. A quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned.
Mei, an outsider in the cliquish hierarchy of dorm life, finds herself thrust together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate. Two visiting professors try to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. A father succumbs to the illness, leaving his daughters to fend for themselves. And at the hospital, a new life grows within a college girl, unbeknownst to her—even as she sleeps. A psychiatrist, summoned from Los Angeles, attempts to make sense of the illness as it spreads through the town. Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?
Written in gorgeous prose, The Dreamers is a breathtaking novel that startles and provokes, about the possibilities contained within a human life—in our waking days and, perhaps even more, in our dreams.
Have you read The Dreamers, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR