The Dream Daughter Book Review

Disclosure: Thanks to the folks at She Speaks Up and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an advanced copy of The Dream Daughter to review. All opinions are my own.

When I start a new book, I have three, unbreakable rules: (1) I don’t read any reviews with spoilers, (2) I give a book at least three chapters before calling it quits, and (3) I read the book in the order it’s presented—no jumping ahead. I hold very tight to that third rule, and can count on one hand the number of times I’ve broken it. One of those times was just last week, when I read The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain.

the dream daughterThe Dream Daughter, to be released on October 2, is my first Chamberlain novel, though she’s written more than 25 books. It’s an engaging page-turner that had me up way past my bedtime so I could figure out what happened next. About one-third of the way through the book, seriously concerned for the safety of some of the characters, I broke rule #3 into pieces and flipped to the last chapter! There I read the ending, and once I knew how everything was going to work out, I could dive back into the story.

Chamberlain is skilled at weaving together plot twists and multiple storylines. The title is a little misleading, though; the daughter in the novel, Joanna is real, not a dream or a figment of the mother’s imagination. Their connection, however, is unusual, and fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife and the Outlander series will understand what I mean.

The Dream Daughter centers on Carly, who is a young widow in 1970 when the book begins. Her husband died during the Vietnam War, without ever knowing that Carly was pregnant. To complicate matters, Carly’s baby has a fatal heart defect, one that cannot be fixed. Medicine does advance to repair the problem, though not until the 2000s. That’s where The Dream Daughter offers a major plot twist (and this isn’t a spoiler!): Carly’s brother-in-law, Hunter, is a time traveler, with the ability to send Carly into the future to get her baby the medical care she needs. But will Carly believe Hunter? Will she she trust him? Will she risk her life and her baby’s to time travel? And, most importantly—what happens to her baby?

Intriguing, right? And, the time travel storyline—while a bit crazy to think about—is believable and works well in The Dream Daughter. I especially liked how Chamberlain contrasted life in the 1970s with life in the 2000s, such as the rise of technology and our dependence on it (think: microwaves, smartphones, laptops, GPS, the Internet).

Recommendation: Pack The Dream Daughter in your carryon bag for a long plane ride, or pull it out for a cozy afternoon in front of the fire.

Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars

One Response
  1. September 25, 2018