The Book of Dreams by Nina George

The Book of Dreams

Nina George

The Book of Dreams is a tender meditation on memory, liminality, and empathy, asking with grace and gravitas what we will truly find meaningful in our lives once we are gone.

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Warm, wise, and magical—the latest novel by the bestselling author of THE LITTLE PARIS BOOKSHOP and THE LITTLE FRENCH BISTRO is an astonishing exploration of the thresholds between life and death

Henri Skinner is a hardened ex-war reporter on the run from his past. On his way to see his son, Sam, for the first time in years, Henri steps into the road without looking and collides with oncoming traffic. He is rushed to a nearby hospital where he floats, comatose, between dreams, reliving the fairytales of his childhood and the secrets that made him run away in the first place.
After the accident, Sam—a thirteen-year old synesthete with an IQ of 144 and an appetite for science fiction—waits by his father’s bedside every day. There he meets Eddie Tomlin, a woman forced to confront her love for Henri after all these years, and twelve-year old Madelyn Zeidler, a coma patient like Henri and the sole survivor of a traffic accident that killed her family. As these four very different individuals fight—for hope, for patience, for life—they are bound together inextricably, facing the ravages of loss and first love side by side.
A revelatory, urgently human story that examines what we consider serious and painful alongside light and whimsy, THE BOOK OF DREAMS is a tender meditation on memory, liminality, and empathy, asking with grace and gravitas what we will truly find meaningful in our lives once we are gone.

Advance Galley Reviews

A few years ago I read The Little Paris Bookshop because I found the cover to be gorgeous and the synopsis intrigued me. Boy, was I not prepared for the journey I went on haha. Nina George has this remarkable way of getting you to think about existential questions. That book changed my life. It put everything into perspective for me and helped me through my healing process. This book is just as impactful. Sam, Henri, Madelyn, and Edwina's lives intertwine in a most unexpected way. This novel focuses on life, death, and everything in between as Henri and Madelyn are both coma patients in the same hospital. And surprisingly, they also exist in the same in-between state. We get the viewpoints of all 4 characters thus giving us an interesting, and profound perspective on everything. It's a soulful, heartbreaking, oddly uplifting novel. The writing is lyrical. Everything I've come to expect from Nina George. The story tugs on your heartstrings just enough to get you wondering about dreams and what they are. About what happens after death. What, if anything, do we take with us? RATING: 4.75/5 stars

The Book of Dreams was a book that in its own way danced through my dreams. I didn’t know what to expect when I first picked up this novel. It looked interesting but I wasn’t certain if I would like the book or not and I was pleasantly surprised. The book switches between three different points of view, Henri, Sam, and Eddie. Sam’s point of view is the most straight forward and in many ways he is the main focus of the entire book. He is a teenager who has never met his father, but goes to see him when his father ends up in a coma in the hospital. Through his point of view we see the facts about what is happening currently. Eddie’s point of view also allows us a view of the current happenings at the hospital; however, she also allows us a look at the past and relationships. She is listed as Henri’s emergency contact despite little contact for years. She is struggling to understand her feelings towards Henri. Henri’s point of view adds another layer to the story. Through him we see his past, the different stories that he has lived, and the event that sent him into a coma in the first place. In many ways this book draws you in and you want to read more and more. You are left waiting and wanting to know what happens. At the same time the language and imagery is beautiful and keeps you engaged with the story. The only downside for me was that some of the side characters were underdeveloped and I felt either could have become fuller characters or have been discarded. Overall, a great book that I loved to read. I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to spoil anything in the book. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy!

I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I picked up this book, and I mean that in the best possible way. This is the type of book I will be thinking about for awhile. I think the author really took a chance with this one and maybe it won't be for everyone, but I'm pretty darn glad I read it. The story in some ways is a bit tricky to explain without getting into spoiler territory so I'm gonna keep it brief and simple. The less you know is probably best in this case. Henri Skinner is set to see his teenage son, Sam, for the first time in years when he is rushed to the hospital after being involved in a traffic accident. Henri's former girlfriend, Eddie, and Sam stick close to Henri's hospital bed as he is in a coma. The book is told from the alternating perspectives of Eddie, Sam, and Henri. Yes, you read that right, you will get to know the man in the coma quite well. I wasn't prepared for how much this would hit me on an emotional and spiritual level. Now I'll admit some of what the author was trying to express might have gone over my head, but what I did get, I loved. It was truly a treat to read a book in which the author was willing to go out on a limb and write a book that might not be "market friendly". I love when authors are willing to take chances and just go for it in order to tell the story they want and I appreciate when publishers give them the opportunity to do this as well. Such a great read and I look forward to checking out the author's other novels. Read this book if you are up for the challenge that it might be a high risk, but high reward type read. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy!

I’m not sure how to begin or what to say. I really enjoyed this book. It engaged and captivated me. It is a strangely titled book because the narrative spends a fair amount of time explaining that what is occurring cannot in fact be described as ‘dreaming.’ So, what is occurring? Henri is in a deep coma and is reflecting upon his life and his choices. Perhaps he is reflecting on what might have happened had he made other choices. Around him, his past has gathered, in the form of people, and he can sense that as well. Author Nina George spins a soft tale that consoles while it engages. For those of us that have recently lost a loved one, this story provides more comfort than most.


More to Explore

  • The Little Paris Bookshop
  • The Little French Bistro

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