The Book of Dreams

The Book of Dreams

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 fi...

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Title:The Book of Dreams
Author:Nina George
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Book of Dreams Reviews

  • Larry H

    Powerful, moving, and poetic, Nina George's newest novel,

    , is absolutely exquisite. It's so different from other books I've read recently, and it is one I won't soon forget.

    "Maybe we're all stories that someone is reading, and maybe that will save us before we ultimately expire?"

    Henri Skinner was once a renowned war reporter whose eyes have seen first-hand the horrors of our world. Shaped by tragedy at an early age, he is a passionate person, one prone to acting before he th

    Powerful, moving, and poetic, Nina George's newest novel,

    , is absolutely exquisite. It's so different from other books I've read recently, and it is one I won't soon forget.

    "Maybe we're all stories that someone is reading, and maybe that will save us before we ultimately expire?"

    Henri Skinner was once a renowned war reporter whose eyes have seen first-hand the horrors of our world. Shaped by tragedy at an early age, he is a passionate person, one prone to acting before he thinks. On his way to see his teenage son for the first time since he was an infant, he performs a heroic act, only to be struck by a car afterward. He now lies deep in a coma, hearing the voices of those he loves but also reliving his life's memories, as well as exploring the paths not taken.

    Sam, Henri's son, is a highly intellectual synesthete (he sees sounds as colors and numbers as sounds) who has dreamed of having his father in his life for as long as he can remember, only to be told by his mother that his father wasn't the type to depend on. When he learns of his father's accident he begins a daily vigil at Henri's bedside. Even though the doctors say they see no sign of Henri's sensing what is going on around him, Sam believes his father hasn't given up yet, and implores him to return to consciousness.

    While at the hospital, Sam meets Eddie Tomlin, a woman who was once deeply in love with Henri until he cruelly hurt her. She's moved on with her life but Henri had named her the executor of his living will, so she now must confront her feelings for this man to whom she once gave her entire heart. Eddie isn't sure if she wants Henri to awaken or if she is ready to say goodbye once and for all.

    Another patient at the hospital is 12-year-old Madelyn, who has been in a coma since she was in a car accident that killed her entire family. Even though she cannot communicate, does not give any sign that she hears or feels or sees, the hospital continues to treat her, this poor young girl without anyone to look after her. Sam is taken with Maddie, and does everything he can to try and help her back to consciousness, as he tries to do the same for his father.

    "There are places where time is thinner, where yesterday, today, and tomorrow converge and we can feel the presence of the dead and the echo of the future."

    is about the thin line between life and death, of how keeping a person alive is often more for ourselves than the actual person. It's a book about love—both its presence and its absence—and how both can consume you. But more than that, this is a book about relationships, about finding the courage to act, to say the things you've always wanted, to never let regret occupy your mind.

    This book is gorgeously written, brimming with vivid imagery and emotion. At times it gets a little confusing, as you're not sure what has happened and what is being dreamed, but the power of this book overcame any of its flaws where I was concerned. In a few days it will be five years since my father died suddenly, and this book, felt a bit like a gift for me, despite how difficult it was to read at times.

    I haven't read any of George's other books, but she said in her afterword that her last three novels,

    , and this one form a cycle of novels about mortality and are colored by existential questions about death. I'm definitely going to have to pick her other books up, because this really touched me. It was both a beautifully written and a beautifully felt book.

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  • Paromjit

    Whilst The Book of Dreams by Nina George is not perfect, there is nevertheless much to love about this profoundly moving novel about what it is to be human and just how much momentous decisions define the life path for a person. In this complex and complicated book of family drama, relationships and human emotions, ex-war reporter, Henry Skinner, is on his way to meet his estranged teenage son, Sam, when he finds himself saving the life of a young girl in the River Thames. Unfortunately the most

    Whilst The Book of Dreams by Nina George is not perfect, there is nevertheless much to love about this profoundly moving novel about what it is to be human and just how much momentous decisions define the life path for a person. In this complex and complicated book of family drama, relationships and human emotions, ex-war reporter, Henry Skinner, is on his way to meet his estranged teenage son, Sam, when he finds himself saving the life of a young girl in the River Thames. Unfortunately the most hellish misfortune has Henry hit by a car, and knocked unconscious and into a coma.

    Henry is in the intensive care unit of a London hospital where the neurologist is referred to as God. 13 year old Sam has the unusual gift of synaesthesia, meaning he is aware and can sense what others cannot. As he sits by his father's bedside, he is joined by an ex-love of Henry's, the heartbroken Eddie Tomlin, and finds himself beginning to connect with a 12 year old girl, another patient in a coma in the unit. Henry, a man with secrets, finds himself reliving aspects of his life and childhood in his dreams, including his relationships with Marie-France, Sam's mother, and Eddie, but one where different choices and decisions are made and their outcome. In a story where the four characters begin to connect, George utilises the concept of a coma about which relatively little is known to explore the different levels of consciousness, the nature of father and son relationships, love, loss and compassion.

    Writing in beautiful prose, Nina George asks the deepest questions about life amidst the oppressive background of hospital routines and lives hanging in the balance. The fragility of life is at the heart of this emotional drama, the need to not allow fear to determine life choices, and to truly live as opposed to sleepwalk through life. Whilst I really loved reading this novel, there were occasions for me when I found the storytelling a little too uneven. A marvellously thought provoking read with great characterisation that made the central themes come alive brilliantly in the narrative. Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for an ARC.

  • Katie B

    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

    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 was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    I’m a fan of Nina George’s Little Paris Bookshop, and I noticed right away that her trademark warmth imbued on every page of The Book of Dreams.

    Henri Skinner, one of our main characters, is a former war reporter. He’s rough around the edges, and the war has shaped him. He’s going to visit his son, Sam, who he doesn’t really know.

    While literally on his way to see his son, he is injured and rushed to the hospital. While there, he is co

    ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

    I’m a fan of Nina George’s Little Paris Bookshop, and I noticed right away that her trademark warmth imbued on every page of The Book of Dreams.

    Henri Skinner, one of our main characters, is a former war reporter. He’s rough around the edges, and the war has shaped him. He’s going to visit his son, Sam, who he doesn’t really know.

    While literally on his way to see his son, he is injured and rushed to the hospital. While there, he is comatose and vividly dreaming about the secrets of his past.

    Sam, Henri’s son, is a gifted thirteen-year-old, and he sits by Henri every day at the hospital. It’s there that Eddie Tomlin arrives, a woman who has loved Henri for many years. Also at the hospital is Madelyn, a twelve-year-old who is also in a coma. She has survived an accident that killed every member of her family.

    Each character is dreaming of hope and fighting for life in their own way, and together, they are bonded by these wistful wants.

    Gosh, The Book of Dreams gave me so much to think about. First, it had me feeling deeply for its characters, and then it transferred to real life, as the story became so earnest, it felt real and luminescent.

    The Book of Dreams is deeply emotional and soaringly rewarding. I cried until I felt that ache in my chest. I had the hardest time letting go of this story and turning the last page. There is sadness, loss, and tragedy here, as is hope.

    Lyrical writing, deep meaning, heartbreaking, powerful, and profound, The Book of Dreams taught me about “just being” versus “truly living” among many other life lessons, and I am ever so grateful this book was in my hands and is now in my heart.

    I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

    My reviews can also be found on my blog:

  • Kylie D

    A beautifully written book, richly metaphorical, about hovering in the space between life and death. It follows Henri, in a coma after an accident, and how he tries to interact with his loved ones and they in turn with him. Poignant and profound, we explore the feelings of loss, hope and grief, all at once.

    Yet, even though I can appreciate the beauty of this book, it really wasn't for me.

    My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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