The Cure For Dreaming by Cat Winters
|The Cure For Dreaming by Cat Winters|
|Reviewer: Samantha Lyon|
|Summary: Wonderfully written, with a well-crafted and carefully constructed plot and characters for you to love and hate. It’s the perfect book to remind you of the best and worst of human nature.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 342||Date: October 2014|
|Publisher: Amulet Books|
|External links: Author's website|
It is rare for a book to be so appealing in so many ways. It is usually easy to pick out at least one flaw in a book; a character wasn't believable, the story dragged, the dialogue was slightly awkward, it was on the melodramatic side. Refreshingly and surprisingly, this is a book which is fantastic on seemingly every front.
Olivia Mead is strong, independently-minded and unrepentant in her beliefs, but there is a certain natural vulnerability to her personality which makes her so appealing. She isn’t a ruthless, remorseless warrior. She is a human being who simply wants to be treated like one, rather than a pet. She isn’t an elusive and daunting beauty, because this isn’t the point of her character. Her beauty lies in in her firmly held values, which she sticks by even at an age when it would be so easy to go with the flow.
The villain in this book is the oppressive society in general, not any one character in particular. This gives the reader something to really feel passionate about and rally against. This book has come at the perfect time. Earlier this summer, there was a massive online movement where women gathered to express their firm belief that they no longer had a need for feminism. They were proud to hold up banners and proclaim 'I don't need feminism'. This novel is a well-needed reminder to a new generation of people, who are privileged to have been born in a more enlightened time, on how we used to live and what was once acceptable, everyday life. In the book itself, there is another group of women firmly against feminism; women who are actually actively against having the vote. This book recalls the memories of the women and men who fought for the right for women to vote, work and learn. It also shows how offensive it is to their memory for a woman to proclaim so proudly that they don't need feminism.
Literature lovers everywhere will pick up on the appearance versus reality theme, which is prevalent in so many classic novels. There is the name of the novel itself, the name of the charismatic young hypnotist (Henri Reverie), the fact that certain people are living life under false names, and the fact that everyone seems to be wearing a mask of some kind. When Henri hypnotises Olivia, on her father’s insistence, she begins to see strange and frightening things. Her father wanted her to see the world as he did – so that she could understand and accept the 'proper' roles for men and women. Instead, Henri allows her to see things as they really are; warts and all. Oppressive, cruel people become terrifying monsters and enlightened, open-minded people become beautiful.
The book is thoroughly well-researched. The writing is elegant and effective. Winters was careful not to make use of words and phrases that were not around in the 1920s. There are some reproachful characters for us to detest. There are certainly characters for us to love. The ending of the book was beautiful and actually gave me goose bumps. For those of you wanting to fall in love with reading again, this is certainly the book for you. There is nothing that keeps you glued to the pages quite so strongly as injustice and a small group of people who rally against it, which this book has in spades. Try as I might to find fault with the story, I was unable to, so it would be completely unfair to judge this book to be anything other than a five out of five and a must-read.
If you’re looking for another young adult book which focuses on the supernatural, Night World by L J Smith is a good choice. If you are looking for general fiction which focuses more on the issue of feminism and the suffragettes, check out Suffragette Girl by Margaret Dickinson, which is about a young woman who travels to London to begin a new life fighting for the suffragette movement.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Cure For Dreaming by Cat Winters at Amazon.co.uk
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.