Tuesday, October 18, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Book of Dreams: A Novel by Davis Bunn

This is the story of Dr. Elena Burroughs, a clinical psychologist practicing at the University of Oxford in England. She is known worldwide as an expert in the field of dreams because of her bestseller, Book of Dreams, a book her friend and fellow psychologist, Miriam, urged her to write. The publication of the book provides Elena money as well as status. However, it does not afford her happiness.

Grieving the loss of her husband who died five years earlier, Elena's work and daily routines have become mechanical and she hates herself even more for having to act as if she is okay.

When a special client, referred by her friend Miriam, appears on the scene everything changes. This client is the wife of the American Ambassador to England and what Elena sees in her dream is something that affects the patient, and possibly many other people around the world.

Eighty-one year old Miriam gives Elena possession to an ancient book given to her by her great-grandmother. The book contains the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic with one phrase per plate. Miriam had been told to study one plate until it spoke to her before going on to the next. Unfortunately, she never got past the first plate. It is different for Elena.

This is much more than a book about an ancient document and the interpretation of dreams, however. As usual, the author mixes riveting characters with important news events. In this case, he uses the economic disaster brought on by the subprime mortgages. And, to make things more challenging for our heroes, the opposition is quite willing to resort to murder to achieve their goals.

I found this book difficult to put down and I loved the ways the characters developed. I also found it interesting the way the author used real places in Oxford, making me want to visit the area again to experience the settings. There was also an exciting scene in Rome which was probably based on real places as well.

The inclusion of the ancient document and the interpretation of dreams could make some readers wonder if the book takes on a supernatural nature. It didn't for me. The way it is handled makes it all totally believable.

In reviewing a book there is always that tradeoff between telling enough about the book so that you can decide to read it or not and telling too much and ruining it for you. That's why I'm stopping here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advance review copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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