Sunday, February 15, 2009
Title: Dream a Little Dream
Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Publishing Date: 1998
While Dream a Little Dream is not officially part of the Chicago Stars series, it is connected to Nobody's Baby But Mine. Gabe Bonner lost his wife and 5 year old son tragically in a car accident. Since then he has been lost, hopelessly mired down in his overwhelming grief. His brothers brought him back from Mexico to their hometown of Salvation, North Carolina, home of the once famous TV evangelist, Snopes. Rachel Stone, better known as the Widow Snopes, is desperate. She comes back to Salvation hoping to find the money her ex-husband stole from the citizens in the hopes of supporting her child. She currently has nine dollars in her pocket and is living in her broken down car on Gabe Bonner's property.
I love SEP's writing. It grabs me and doesn't let go. Whether I want to be or not, I am completely at her mercy. Whatever direction she wants to head in, I'm sitting in the passenger seat, lips sealed, seat-belt on, ready to go. With that in mind, I wasn't loving the premise of this book. It just sounded too depressing and too emotional. While to some extent this was true, I still really enjoyed Gabe and Rachel's story.
I think a lot of readers might be put off by the heavy subject matter of this story. It deals with grief and loss and desperation in a very honest manner. Nothing is sugar coated and some parts were just heart wrenching to read. Did I like this story? Yep, I sure as heck did. Rachel is one hell of a woman. What she has to deal with and overcome is nothing short of amazing. However, at times I found myself wondering if it wasn't all just a tad too dramatic and excessive; all the bad things that kept happening to her. Oh and Gabe - poor Gabe. He was just so damaged. As a hero, he was so flawed and messed up. But even so, I just couldn't help but like him and hope that he could find a little piece of happiness.
Talk about drama. I think SEP is the queen. When things hit rock bottom, damn they really hit subzero levels. Would I ever read this book again? Probably not. I was definitely entertained while reading it, but maybe it was too grueling for it to become a favorite.
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