Review Blog

Apr 09 2019

The book of dreams by Nina George

cover image

Simon and Schuster, 2019. ISBN: 9781471182976.
(Age: 17+) Recommended. This book was captivating. A powerful story of relationships is told through the eyes of Henri, Eddie and Sam. It tackles a subject of much debate - life after death.
The story begins as Henri Skinner is on his way to meet his son. He rescues a young girl from the river and is hit by a car. He is in a coma and visited by his son Samuel Noam Valentiner.
Henri is a hero in many ways and Eddie Tomlin is the woman he loves. Eddie and Henri have a complicated relationship that has unfinished business.'God' is a powerful figure in the book, guiding Eddie and Sam as their journey alongside Henri through the in-between world of coma unfolds. We see the characters Henri, Sam and Eddie slowly developed through their perspectives on loss, missed opportunities and reflections on the past.
The unfinished business of life is sensitively explored through Sam's life experiences and the powerful dream sequences relayed by Henri and Eddie. The intensive care unit provides Sam a serendipitous meeting with Maddie, a young ballet dancer immersed in a coma. Sam, as a synesthete, communicates with Maddie and Henri in a way that enables him to connect with their current state and it is this communication that drives the last chapters with a sense of urgency and intensity that keeps the pages turning and evokes tears for the reader. The resolution of the unfinished business between Sam's mother and Henri brings clarity to a family relationship offering hope to Sam.
This is a story told sensitively and evocatively as it explores love - first love, fathers and sons, friendship, family and the willingness to be open to and accepting of love. The book explores the boundaries between life and death from differing perspectives without judgement and leaves the reader with this...
'There's more between life and death than we can tell from here.'
Linda Guthrie

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