Seldom do I sit down to read a book and end up feeling like I’m having a highly descriptive catch up with my best friend, one that I never want to pause (to get off the bus and start work) let alone finish. Yet there is no better nor simpler summary of the connection I felt when reading Giovanna Fletcher’s ‘Dream a little Dream’. A treat of a story that felt like it was exclusive to me, as if I was acting as the protagonist’s confidante.
Sarah is a relatively normal, everyday woman working in a television company, where her talents are sadly taken for granted and not used to their full potential. Her dreams however are an exiting, and fun escape from the boredom she feels during the day where she dreams of a relative stranger she met years ago. As their relationship in her dreams grows stronger and becomes increasingly sexual, the stranger in her dream happens to enter her real life. The appearance of the stranger, and the differences between the Dream version and the Real version lead her to question a lot of the things she thought she wanted and needed.
First off, the fact that Giovanna is from Essex, as am I, it means that reading this book was such a little treat. For anyone who has read a book set in a place you’re familiar with, you’ll know that it gives you such a small, but wonderful bond with it. In fact as I traveled from my home town in Maldon to my work place in Colchester, the bus went through a couple of places mentioned in the book as I read them!
Aside from my geographical link to the book, there are so many little things that just make this book such a perfect read. My top 3 elements are 1) The dialogue 2) The chatty but descriptive nature and 3) The friendship group. So, just to satisfy my own preference of linearity, lets start with number 1; the dialogue! Plain and simply, it is ingeniously natural. Even some of my favourite writers, as much as they are absolute wonders when it comes to narrative description sometimes write dialogue that is a little off at times. Giovanna, however, writes each characters dialogue with such a great understanding of their motives, and their little quirks and more than that, she understands how real dialogue should feel. For example, I find myself reading books that contain dialogue that if said in real life just wouldn’t feel natural. There isn’t a line in Dream a little Dream that doesn’t feel inherently genuine.
Then we have the ‘chatty but descriptive nature’ as I put it. Each of the 419 pages I read was such a dynamically casual pleasure. As I mentioned before it’s as if I’ve sat down with my best friend and listened to every detail, every specific word, of their tale. I put this down to how colloquial it feels in it’s structure, at one moment I would be reading an intensely detailed description of a person, or a scene, and then to keep me happy, there would be little humourous comments in between.
At the core of all three of the elements I listed is the natural feel I mentioned before. The friendship group is quite possibly the most natural of all of them. The chemistry between each member of the group is just incredible, there were moments that just didn’t feel at all fictional, it felt more like I was remembering a memory I’ve had with my group while reading the book. Friendship is also quite possibly one of the biggest themes for the book, speaking of how we all react to our friends, and how we might take some of them for granted despite how they are always there for us.
The only moment I found myself unsure of was the ending. My mind was in two places, for me it felt very abrupt and it was quite a dramatic anti-climax but thinking it over again, and reading it through, it seemed perfectly justifiable. Throughout this post I’ve been talking of how natural it felt, and honestly the ending continues this, and the abrupt feel is really caused by 1) me not wanting to finish it and 2) the fact that there was little left that needed to be said.
So to summarise Dream a little Dream is a literary wonder, and should be read by anyone who enjoys books that feel real, and allow you to realise things you might never have realised.
Currently Reading: It Started With Paris – Cathy Kelly