The Cure For Dreaming
Author: Cat Winters
Release: October 14th 2014
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.
My Gosh, this book is so beautifully relevant, even to this day still. I don't know about you, but I am a strong believer of equality and I call myself a feminist, and it's such a shame that this word has so many negative rings to it. Women are still unequal to men, we're still being heavily generalized and stereotyped, and it's making my head hurt just thinking about how this could still be. This novel takes place in 1900 and most of it is still true to this day, it's seriously astounding.
In that, I also loved loved loved the message it sent out — that it's alright to be different, to speak your mind especially if you're a lady and if you're unhappy, if something's weighing you down, you need to drop that shit and go. Turn your back on it and follow the path that'll make you happy, and even if you're uncertain, if you're truly feeling miserable, you need to leave. If there's someone oppressing you and keeping you silent, you need to leave. ASAP. This book sent that really important message out, and I applaud it for that.
But even aside from that, this novel is excellent in that its characters are realistic, fleshed out and interesting. The heroine, Olivia, is at first torn between wanting to be a suffragist and fighting for women's rights, while at the same time she questions her love for the novel Dracula, and wants to be desired by her long term crush, Percy, which she can only achieve if she's demure and obedient. Throughout the novel, she sees the world as it truly is and makes all the right decisions. She's far from perfect, however, and her flaws were what made me really like her in the end. Additionally, the male MC was also exceptionally well done. Yes, he's a in favor of women voting and seems pretty nice, but he was literally painted to be a devil during some points of the novel as well, with some of his more negative sides showing here and there, which made him less perfect, which in turn made him even more perfect, you get me? I just. The characters were all SO well done, not only the two protagonists, but also all of the side characters, seriously. Olivia's father, who was both so very controlling but simultaneously extremely vulnerable and hurt, Frannie, who was endlessly supportive, Genevieve, Sadie, and so on ... they were all so intriguing.
Another thing the book really did right was the romance. It wasn't too heavy and never too pronounced, and while maybe not fully, satisfactorily developed, I still ended up really liking the Henry/Olivia pair a lot. They just had chemistry and fit together; their personalities were so in sync with each other, I truly felt like some sort of epic build up to the kiss wasn't even needed. What a great and healthy couple. And again, let me stress that Cat Winters managed to just send the right message about love and romance: It's alright to care for or even love a man, but don't let it consume your life and, most importantly, don't let that make you change your path. Don't ever change anything for a man, even if it's just something tiny. We need girls everywhere to understand this.
All in all, a ridiculously well done novel, and while it may have dragged a bit around some areas, in the end I really enjoyed this one a lot. It was historically accurate and interesting as well as very educational, Winters truly did her research on the topic. The characters and story are immensely enjoyable and the intent of the novel is beautiful. Definitely recommended.