The Dream Keeper’s Daughter
Author: Emily Colin
What I’m Talking About:
The Dream Keepers Daughter was an interesting and multi-dimensional read. The concepts of time travel and how the deep connection to those we love transcend place, time and logic were covered in unexpected and interesting ways. The characters were well developed and interesting right from the start, and the back and forth narration between Max and Isabel gave insights that could not have been explored if narrated another way. I also felt the way Ms. Colin explored the topic of grief and moving on was believable and distinct to the different characters and their personalities and experiences. She tackles hard topics like slavery, familial responsibility, and accountability for past mistakes with heart for both sides and manages to give closure as best as anyone can when faced with the ripple effect of choices made by those before.
Overall, I enjoyed The Dream Keepers Daughter; however, that said I did have a few issues with the novel, but to explain them may be spoilerish so…
***** WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILERS *****
My first issues is that the rules of time travel didn’t seem to be consistent. Julia, Isabel’s mother disappeared 16 years ago but has only spent one in her alternate world, whereas Max has been gone for eight years in the here and now, but has only been in his alternate world for less than a month. How/why did time speed up when Max disappeared? They are in the same place at the same time, so shouldn’t the same rules apply? I mean I understand that certain things would have been much harder to believe if Finn had been sixteen years old rather than eigth, and that time was needed for Max and Isabel to form their relationship, but rules are rules and not sticking to them tends to make me a bit crazy.
I also struggled with Finn’s character and the lack of explanation. Where did her special talents come from? Are they a result of genetics that laid dormant until the family was brought together? She’s such a major character but doesn’t really get the story time I felt she deserved. What about her struggle? How was she so able to accept everything happening around and to her? Child-like faith can only explain so much. Maybe the answer came in a dream, but if so show me that.
Finally, I felt like the resolution was just kind of cast upon us. Here is the major plot line, but hey every one is back now and all is right in the world again. Seriously, the only one seeming to question anything was Ryan, and good for him because there is no way people disappear for that many years with no investigation or questioning, and are just welcomed back to the fold and into the lives of children like they’ve always been there. I understand Finn’s acceptance because on some level she has had contact with both Max and Julia, but Isabel has been protecting Finn her entire life and now she’s like well OK come on over? It doesn’t ring true, and I’m grateful Ryan is there as a voice of reason.
I am also grateful that Ryan gets his happy ending. He is an amazing character and deserves all the happiness he gets especially since getting there was hellish.
***** END SPOILERS *****
Now all of this being said, I will admit that many of these issues are likely more me than the book itself. I was reading it during a highly stressful and distracted time in my world, which maybe why I didn’t quite connect with the characters the way I had hoped. I was super excited to read The Dream Keepers Daughter and overall enjoyed my time with Ms. Colin’s novel. If someone is looking for a book the tackles love, grief, hope, healing and the challenges of family via a unique story-line with strong and memorable characters, then the book will definitely fit the bill. Just be forewarned if you pick it up you likely won’t put it down until you’re done, so don’t plan to tackle it with distractions around or when you need to accomplish anything else.
My Rating: B, Liked It
About the Book:
Eight years after the unsolved disappearance of her boyfriend Max Adair, archaeologist Isabel Griffin has managed to move on and rebuild her life with her young daughter, Finn, her last tie to Max. But after a series of strange incidents, Isabel begins to wonder if Max might still be alive somewhere, trying to communicate with her. She has no idea that the where isn’t the problem—it’s the when. Max has slipped through time and place, landing on his ancestral family plantation in 1816 Barbados, on the eve of a historic slave uprising. As Isabel searches for answers, Max must figure out not only how to survive the violence to come, but how to get back to his own century, the woman he loves, and the daughter he has only ever met in his dreams.
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Time Travel Romance
Format(s): paperback (482 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley