Dream in Color

Dream in Color

3.3 3
by Darlene Johnson

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Victoria’s marriage is on the rocks, and she copes by daydreaming about fantasy men. But can these fantasies help fix her real life?

At age twenty-five, Victoria Chandler has a husband with a good job, a five-year-old daughter, Reese, and a house in the suburbs. She should be happy with her life. But she’s not. She suspects that her husband, Gerald,


Victoria’s marriage is on the rocks, and she copes by daydreaming about fantasy men. But can these fantasies help fix her real life?

At age twenty-five, Victoria Chandler has a husband with a good job, a five-year-old daughter, Reese, and a house in the suburbs. She should be happy with her life. But she’s not. She suspects that her husband, Gerald, is having an affair, and she finds her loveless marriage a big disappointment. But Victoria stays married for the sake of her daughter. And to get by, she starts daydreaming about two fantasy men: James, a very handsome man she meets at a club, and Michael, a rock star.

As she ponders her attraction to these men, Victoria slowly realizes that her marriage to Gerald is doomed—they’re just not meant to be together. Inspired by the freedom that she exhibits in her fantasies, Victoria develops a plan to escape her marriage and create the reality that she’s always wanted.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A woman in a loveless marriage retreats into an elaborate fantasy world in Darlene Johnson's previously self-published Dream in Color. Victoria and Gerald Jordan married because she was pregnant; now their daughter is five years old, the marriage is in a shambles and Victoria suspects he's having an affair. She copes by inventing two dream lovers: James, a 17-year-old high school student, and Michael, a white rock star. The former "affair" is mostly platonic, while the latter contains all manner of fireworks-a wedding, drug addiction, betrayal-though neither really makes any sense. While slightly more imaginative than similar romances, the fantasy gimmick seems like an effort to distract readers from the lack of plot.
Kirkus Reviews
A new African-American imprint banks on women readers feeling dissatisfaction with the men in their life-or so it would seem from this thinny-thin first outing, initially self-published, about a sadly married young woman and her desperate daydreams. There are two serious romances going on in Cincinnati schoolteacher Victoria Jordan's life, and neither involves her indifferent husband of five years, Gerald, who is also the father of her daughter. One of Victoria's fantasies involves Michael Prince, a world-famous British rock star she meets backstage after winning tickets to his concert; the two proceed to fall in love after a night in his luxury hotel room, marry, then try to stay that way despite his drug habit. Victoria's other fantasy is about a 17-year-old she meets at a disco, a student in her school by the name of James, who begs her to marry him before he goes off to George Washington University. In zippy chapters, the narrative shifts from first to third person, Victoria appearing sometimes in the arms of one man, sometimes the other, but her bliss always undercut by the gloomy facts of her actual marriage to a man who never loved her in the first place but married her because she got pregnant. Pat characterizations and cliched settings, lacking strength of their own, may be the cause of Johnson's ongoing attempt to win the reader by sheer earnestness of dialogue. An overall murkiness reigns, and the balance is tipped into incredulity in the end, when there's a reconciliation with white stud Michael. All along we've waited for Victoria to face her own life-but there's always the safety net of a nice man she just met, someone who's waiting for a nod from her before starting theromance of her life. Escapism for the unhappily marrieds: silly and depthless.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.88(w) x 10.86(h) x 1.01(d)

Read an Excerpt

Tonight I was willing to forget all that and become a partner. Perhaps afterward Gerald would notice the difference as well and respond to me as a partner rather than just an object for getting off.

When I walked into the house, I followed the sound of voices into the family room. Gerald and our daughter, Reese, were sitting on the sofa wines and champagne. I chose a sparkling white that best resembled what I hoped would be the mood of the evening, energetic and definitely bubbly. I ran back upstairs and placed the bottle and two of our best goblets into the freezer for a quick chill. Witd at them and walked to the window and pulled the curtains back, letting the remaining rays of sunlight strike me and add more heat to a kettle that was about to boil over.

“Gerald,” I said, bouncing on the sofa beside him and taking his hand. I followed his eyes as he looked first at my hand touching him and then at me. “I asked Stephanie to watch Reese for a few hours for us tonight.”

Gerald squinted.

“So that you and I can enjoy a nice, relaxing evening alone.” I leaned forward and gently kissed his cheek.

Gerald pulled back from me. “What’s up?” he asked in his usual suspicious tone.

“Nothing. I just want to spend some time with you. Some real time. We haven’t done that in a while.”

He continued to look at me suspiciously.

“Nothing is up. I promise. I just want to spend some time together. Cook a nice dinner,
listen to some good music, and have some fun.” My faint grin hinted of enticement.

Gerald picked up on the tone and nodded. “Sounds good to me,” he replied.

I was surprised that he didn’t turn me down cold and cite my disinterest in sex and anything associated with it as the reason. Perhaps he was missing that integral part of our relationship as well. I knew that one night wasn’t going to send the five-year downward spiral of our marriage into an upturn, but it was a start, and we needed that more than anything else.

“Wonderful!” I exclaimed. “You go ahead and drop Reese off while I get things started here.” I jumped off the sofa and practically ran into the kitchen to start our meal. A few minutes later I heard the door close, but not before Gerald yelled into the kitchen that he’d be right back. With that, I began preparing for a date with my husband.

The entrée of choice was his favorite, salmon steak. I covered two large, pink steaks in a special lemon marinade that was a recipe from Gerald’s mother and set them in the refrigerator. I started cooking some wild rice and prepared the asparagus to steam later while the salmon cooked.

I ran to the cellar to select a bottle from our collection of prized , splattering some, but at that moment I wouldn’t have cared if the food was smeared all over the kitchen wall. I never wanted to see salmon steak again.

“Oh, shit,” I murmured, and rushed to the freezer. I cringed as I pulled open the door and peered insih a push of the remote control, I started the CD player.

I stood in the middle of the living room with my hands folded in front of me. I closed my eyes and listened to the smooth melody. Pleased, I nodded, then returned to the kitchen to finish dinner.

Meet the Author

Darlene Johnson lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her two sons. She is currently working on her second novel, As We Lay. She would love to know what you think of Dream in Color, and you can e-mail her at brandywinepub@aol.com.

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Dream in Color 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I loved that her DayDreams weren't all pretty and that she was raped, abused and left.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first 15 pages are what hook you in. It gets a little cumbersome to digest after about 75 pages or so, but its juicy enough to finish. It's like having three novels in one book, you just have to keep up with the stories! Overall it's a good read. Don't pay for the hard cover though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although the stories in this book were interesting it was so confusing that I almost didn't finish. The only reason that I finished the book was to see if the author ever straightened out this mess.