Sunday, May 12, 2019

Dream Within a Dream, by Patricia MacLachlan

Louisa and her little brother Theo get dropped off on a remote island to stay with their grandparents while Mom and Dad go off on a birdwatching tour.  Twelve year-old Louisa doesn't like change, but it seems that the summer will be full of them.  Her grandfather is losing his vision and has to adjust to the growing list of things he can no longer do.  Her brother will fall in love with the island and want to stay.  And Louisa will meet George who will be her friend and teach her words in Swahili.

MacLachlan's typical sparse style shines out in this simple setting.  As with her other books, the leanness means that there is very little going on on the surface.  But that is deceiving as the book reveals more with repeated reads.  The style was beautiful in Sarah, Plain and Tall because the subject matter was so angsty.  Whether this book is enticing enough to make a reader come back is a different matter.  I found it nice and kind, but ultimately dull.

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