The Dream Daughter @dianechamberlain

The Dream Daughter is a moving novel illustrating that a mother’s love knows no boundaries….


Carly has been dealt two blows within a short time-frame. The year is 1970, and she has just been informed that her husband has been killed in Vietnam. The child she is carrying has been diagnosed with a heart defect and will either die before or shortly after its birth. This child is her only remaining connection to the man she dearly loved and she will go to any lengths to save its life – including traveling into the future where the medical care is available.

Remember the cult classic Somewhere in Time? It was a fabulous novel made into a movie starring Christopher Reeve. I was one of its devoted followers and watched the movie over a dozen times. I love time travel when it is done well; after all, I doubt it will be much further into our own future that it is possible. Things that I once thought of as “space age,” now are my reality so time travel isn’t a leap of faith for me. The Dream Daughter is one of those rare books that does do time travel well.

Diane Chamberlain creates a story of familial love, a mother’s desire to protect her child both in the present and in the future and she does it in a manner that is completely realistic, well developed and, most importantly, thoroughly engaging. As readers we can feel the compassion, fear and hope that Carly feels. We come to understand her actions – both in the present and future. I laughed with her, cried with her and was angry with her. It is a heartbreaking tale at times and, in fact, my heart did break throughout the story. But there is more to this domestic tale than sadness; it is one of hope and wonder. That an author can pull this off so well is a testament to her incredible writing skills.

Because a majority of the story is told in 1970, there is a lot of what is now our history, but Carly’s present. I was amazed at the way that Chamberlain handled the events of that era. It was a time of the Vietnam War, Watergate, the rise of the Beatles, the Kent State massacre and so much more. All of these events play a large role in the storyline, as does the 911 World Trade Center tragedy. It was interesting to read about these events from the viewpoint of historical context.

While I thoroughly enjoyed The Dream Daughter, there were a few minor detractions. Of course it is not written from a scientific standpoint so if one is looking for the science of time travel you won’t find it here. There also were times that I felt there was too much minutia and, rather than pulling me into the storyline, it made those sections of the book drag. Despite those minor irritants, however, the book is wonderfully written with characters that will not be soon forgotten. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Thank you to #StMartinsPress and #Netgalley for my copy of The Dream Daughter, on sale October 2, 2018.


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