Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The Good Dream by Donna VanLiere
1950 Tennessee, a time and place that straddles the past and present. Ivorie Walker is considered an old maid by the town (though she’s only in her early thirties) and she takes that label with good humor and a grain of salt. Ever since her parents passed away, she has hidden her loneliness behind a fierce independence and a claim of not needing anyone. But her mother’s death hit her harder than anyone suspects and Ivorie wonders if she will be alone forever.
When she realizes that someone has been stealing vegetables from her garden—a feral, dirty-faced boy who disappears into the hills—something about him haunts Ivorie. She can’t imagine what would make him desperate enough to steal and eat from her garden. But what she truly can’t imagine is what the boy faces, each day and night, in the filthy lean-to hut miles up in the hills. Who is he? How did he come to live in the hills? Where did he come from? And, more importantly, can she save him? As Ivorie steps out of her comfort zone to uncover the answers, she unleashes a firestorm in the town—a community that would rather let secrets stay secret.
A heartwarming story full of lovely writing, this book is a treasure for all lovers of literary fiction.
I read this book in a day and a half because I couldn’t put it down. The characters are so finely created that they captivate you from the moment you read the first line. The boy, in particular, made an impact on me, and the clever way in which the author had him almost at arm’s length by using third person until the last bit of the novel really affected the reading, making it even more poignant. There is a wonderfully diverse group of characters populating the novel, all of them full of life and practically jumping off the pages.
The plot is written with such care that it’s hard to find fault with it. The pacing is well done, never getting dull, even when describing some of the farm duties Ivorie performs each day. It would seem like that would slow down the plot, but it really doesn’t. Instead, it adds an aura of domesticity that goes very well with the meaning behind the book.
This is a wonderful book with real sweetness at its core and I highly recommend you get a cipy as soon as it come out.