Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: October 14th 2014 by Amulet Books
After reading Cat Winters’ gloriously brilliant debut In the Shadow of Blackbirds, I vowed to read anything she wrote in the future. I seriously wasn’t disappointed, The Cure for Dreaming is a powerful read that captures the difficult era of the 1900’s perfectly, with a fierce heroine that you will be rooting for.
Main character Olivia is a girl who doesn’t fit in with the woman made mold of that time. She is independent and has an opinion that she likes to voice. Her father isn’t happy with his unruly daughter and to keep her out of trouble her manages to persuade a mesmerist to hypnotize her, to try to tame her rebellious nature.
Instead of curing Olivia, the mesmerist does something much worse – he enables her the ability to see people for what they truly are, their true natures. He calls this a gift but it’s anything but for Olivia. Can you imagine seeing what people really are? Olivia can’t seem to stay away from the mysterious Henri – she is drawn to him and his plight.
I loved seeing Henri and Olivia’s relationship blossom. The whole process was a transformation for Olivia, who became more open and free with each encounter. I adored seeing her wild side coming out – I especially love the bicycle scene.
There are a few really great positive takeaway messages nestled within these pages. I particularly liked when people realised what it was like to have no voice.
I just LOVED the ending!
The Cure for Dreaming is an empowering read, gloriously set in Oregon in the 1900’s. The period artwork throughout made the book truly memorable and stand right out from the crowd. Cat Winters has a gift for bringing the past back to life in such a colourful and very inviting way. The storyline was rather unusual and sometimes frightening in places, but really it was atmospheric and never dull. Main character Olivia is a girl who was a complete joy to get to know and I really loved her journey. Bring on the next Cat Winters fix please…