The Anatomy of Dreams
Book Description: It’s 1998, and Sylvie Patterson, a bookish student at a Northern California boarding school, falls in love with a spirited, elusive classmate named Gabe. Their headmaster, Dr. Adrian Keller, is a charismatic medical researcher who has staked his career on the therapeutic potential of lucid dreaming: By teaching his patients to become conscious during sleep, he helps them to relieve stress and heal from trauma. Over the next six years, Sylvie and Gabe become consumed by Keller’s work, following him from the redwood forests of Eureka, California, to the enchanting New England coast.
But when an opportunity brings the trio to the Midwest, Sylvie and Gabe stumble into a tangled relationship with their mysterious neighbors—and Sylvie begins to doubt the ethics of Keller’s research, recognizing the harm that can be wrought under the guise of progress. As she navigates the hazy, permeable boundaries between what is real and what isn’t, who can be trusted and who cannot, Sylvie also faces surprising developments in herself: an unexpected infatuation, growing paranoia, and a new sense of rebellion.
In the last year or so, there have been a lot of novels featuring dreams, sleep, and/or sleeplessness. A fascinating subject for most of us, but this one end up being in the "not so much" category.
This is a book that I wanted to like, yet as it turned out, was not. Although there are parts where you intuitively know where it is going, it doesn't go exactly there. Or it does, but in a way that I found unfortunate. I can't discuss my quibbles without spoilers; you will have to decide for yourself whether or not the book will satisfy your expectations.
Science Fiction? Psychological? Sept. 16, 2014. Print length: 320 pages.