Henri Skinner is a hardened ex-war reporter on the run from his past. On his way to see his son, Sam, for the first time in years, Henri steps into the road without looking and collides with oncoming traffic. He is rushed to a nearby hospital where he floats, comatose, between dreams, reliving the fairytales of his childhood and the secrets that made him run away in the first place.
After the accident, Sam—a thirteen-year old synesthete with an IQ of 144 and an appetite for science fiction—waits by his father’s bedside every day. There he meets Eddie Tomlin, a woman forced to confront her love for Henri after all these years, and twelve-year old Madelyn Zeidler, a coma patient like Henri and the sole survivor of a traffic accident that killed her family. As these four very different individuals fight—for hope, for patience, for life—they are bound together inextricably, facing the ravages of loss and first love side by side.
A revelatory, urgently human story that examines what we consider serious and painful alongside light and whimsy, THE BOOK OF DREAMS is a tender meditation on memory, liminality, and empathy, asking with grace and gravitas what we will truly find meaningful in our lives once we are gone.
What a lovely story, thank you so much to Simon and Schuster for my copy. It’s one of those truly awful accidents and you can’t help but feel emotionally invested in Henri’s story from beginning to end. I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing his coma (yeah that sounds a little weird to say) and it gave me a new appreciation for those who have been in a similar situation.
I loved all the characters. They all brought a unique and special voice to the story, especially henri’s son. The underlying telling of mortality and love was powerful, and stays with you long after you finish this story. I definitively recommend you try this one.
I rated The Book of Dreams: 4/5 stars