ABOUT THE BOOK:
Title: The Dream Keeper’s Daughter
Author: Emily Colin
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy
Publishing: July 25, 2017 (Ballantine Books)
Format: Paperback, 480 pages
Source: JKS Communications and Penguin Random House
“One man can save another. Only you know how to wipe your heart clean of what stains it.”
An archaeologist discovers her presumed-missing boyfriend is trapped more than a hundred years in the past—a love story that transcends time and place, from the author of the New York Times bestseller The Memory Thief.
Eight years after the unsolved disappearance of her boyfriend Max Adair, archaeologist Isabel Griffin has managed to move on and rebuild her life with her young daughter, Finn, her last tie to Max. But after a series of strange incidents, Isabel begins to wonder if Max might still be alive somewhere, trying to communicate with her. She has no idea that the where isn’t the problem—it’s the when. Max has slipped through time and place, landing on his ancestral family plantation in 1816 Barbados, on the eve of a historic slave uprising. As Isabel searches for answers, Max must figure out not only how to survive the violence to come, but how to get back to his own century, the woman he loves, and the daughter he has only ever met in his dreams.
The Dream Keeper’s Daughter combined time travel, history, and romance for a moving and bittersweet fantasy story that sucked me in from the very beginning. Emily Colin, New York Times bestselling author of “The Memory Thief,” has a skill in formulating a compelling narrative.
I loved the idea behind this book! I enjoy books with a love story. I am also a huge history buff. Throw in the time slip element, and I was sold. This story traversed from present day South Carolina to 19th century Barbados, as told through a multi-person point of view; more specifically, the alternating POV of Isabel and Max. The changing POV helped fill out the story and gave the reader a comprehensive look at the events taking place. I happened to be partial to Max’s chapters!
Colin had a very captivating writing style. She wrote fluently and emphatically. There were only a few times that I found myself “coaching” the characters to spit it out or do something already, and those instances mostly pertained to the romantic story line.
Between the writing style, the shift in perspectives, and the twists and turns in the plot, I was compelled to continue reading to see where the story would lead. The history was well-researched and represented in this text. Those were probably my favorite scenes! Once the concept of the time slip was clear (it took a while to get to that, though), I had that “AH HA!” moment, and more pieces to the puzzle of The Dream Keeper’s Daughter snapped into place. I really liked what Colin did with the time travel. However, the romantic aspect of the story led me to frustration.
So, we’ve got Isabel (single mom with a tough girl exterior who has experienced loss), Max (Isabel’s first love interest and father to her little girl), and Ryan (Isabel’s best friend who experienced his own hardships but was there when Isabel needed it most). One day, Max disappeared and was away from his home and family for several years. In walks Ryan, after Max’s disappearance, to befriend a struggling Isabel. As one might assume, Isabel and Ryan’s friendship evolved while Max was thought to be missing and Isabel was trying to move forward with her life.
Honestly, I kept finding myself rooting for both of the guys at various times, only to be disappointed with the outcome in the end. All three characters were hot then cold, and all of their relationships (and personalities, really) seemed a bit like a roller coaster. Be forewarned that there are some steamy scenes throughout the book. There were some positives with the love story, but for the most part, I just struggled with it. This, as well as the direction the end took, were the reasons I lowered my review rating.
A bright note of this book was Isabel and Max’s daughter, Finn. I just loved her! I don’t want to go into much detail, though, because 1) you should discover her all on your own, and 2) spoilers!
There is a lot that goes on in The Dream Keeper’s Daughter, but it is mysterious and clever, so I recommend it! A book like this makes me weary to say much more because I don’t want to give anything away. Trust me when I say, though, that it is intriguing and I devoured it. When I first read about this book, I figured I might like it, but I had not read anything else by Colin, and I had not heard of this book. I was pleasantly surprised by it and very glad that I read it. I look forward to reading more from Emily Colin.
Until next time… xo
*Thanks to JKS Communications and Penguin Random House for providing me with a copy of this book. Please note that it, in no way, had an effect on my opinion or review.