The Cure for Dreaming

( 2 )


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 ...
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The Cure for Dreaming

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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.

Praise for The Cure for Dreaming
"A smattering of period photos adds authenticity to this gripping, atmospheric story of mind control and self-determination."
--Kirkus Reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
During a stage show on Halloween night in the year 1900, 17-year-old Olivia Mead is hypnotized by Henri Reverie, a dashing young mesmerist visiting Portland, Ore., from Montreal. The hypnosis is such a success that Olivia’s controlling father hires Henri to render Olivia proper and docile, eliminating her free spirit, passion for a career, and growing support of the women’s suffrage movement. However, Henri deceives Olivia’s father with slippery language, commanding Olivia to “see the world the way it truly is,” and only be able to say the words “all is well” in response. Suddenly, Olivia’s father and other misogynistic citizens appear to her as terrifying vampiric creatures, women are seen in cages or vanishing into thin air, and those who support women’s rights glow “with breathtaking luminescence.” A subtle setup this is not, but Winters (In the Shadow of Blackbirds) creates a rich, gothic backdrop (further brought to life through period photographs and illustrations) for a story that will open many readers’ eyes to historical injustices inflicted on women—injustices with plenty of present-day parallels. Ages 12–up. Agent: Barbara Poelle, Irene Goodman Agency. (Oct.)
Booklist - Daniel Kraus

"Winters continues to be a refreshing, incisive talent with a unique perspective."
The Horn Book Magazine - Katie Bircher

"Fluid boundaries between what’s tangible and what’s intuited, lucidity and unconsciousness, sanity and madness are particularly apt for this story about hypnotism and emotional manipulation."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"...readers will cheer as Olivia strikes out on her own, finally free of her father’s control."
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Olivia Winters is not an ordinary girl, at least not the ordinary daughter her father desires. Olivia is a nascent suffragette, working to see that women get the right to vote in her state of Oregon. Her father, a pain-inducing dentist known as Mead the Mad, decides to nip her adventures in the bud so that she does not follow in her runaway mother’s footsteps. When normal discipline fails to reform her, Olivia’s father hires a hypnotist and magician, Henri Reverie, to control his daughter’s feminist thoughts. Henri, secretly a male suffragette, sacrifices his principals to raise money for his teenaged sister’s experimental mastectomy. Henri falls under Olivia’s thrall and instead of totally removing her convictions, he alters her perceptions so that she sees the world in its truest and, often, most unattractive ways. With the power to see people as their most elemental selves, Olivia has the power to catch a glimpse of their futures. The one element that is not quite cohesive is Olivia’s obsession with the novel Dracula, and how the novel influences some of her visions to take the form of vampires. With so many plot points, this could be a messy novel, but instead is engaging and as mesmerizing as the hypnosis Olivia undergoes. Olivia is a heroine with gumption; a girl determined to forge her own path to education and personal freedom. It’s nice to have an historical novel that reminds young readers that women have been fighting a very long time for gender parity. The book is filled with archival photos and quotes from early feminist icons such as Susan B. Anthony and Kate Chopin. While a series is not mentioned, one hopes for a sequel to further explore the politics and romance of Henri and Olivia. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross; Ages 12 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—What if you could tell a person's true nature just by his appearance? Emotional vampires would be represented with fangs and a ghastly pallor; feeble, miserable individuals would flicker in and out of existence. Winters's latest historical novel, set in Portland, Oregon, in the year 1900, explores this question and others. The daughter of a cruel dentist, Olivia Mead is called onto stage at a show to be hypnotized by the young yet famous Henri Reverie. Her furious father enlists Reverie's help to browbeat Olivia into her proper role as a woman, forcing her to "see the world the way it truly is." When Olivia realizes she cannot voice her dissent and that she can truly see peoples' natures, she must take her future into her own hands with the help of Reverie—all set within the backdrop of a dynamic suffragist movement. Winters combines the history of women's rights in the early 20th century with a spellbinding story of a young woman caught at a crossroads between family and self. A strong female protagonist, realistic dialogue, and well-written prose allow readers to become immersed in Olivia's rather unique (and sometimes frightening) world. Aesthetically, bibliophiles and novices alike will love the old-fashioned introductory chapter photographs with leading quotes.—Amanda C. Buschmann, Atascocita Middle School, Humble, TX
Kirkus Reviews
After being hypnotized during a theatrical performance, modern yet repressed Olivia begins to take interest in the women's suffrage movement. Just as her interest grows, her darkly conniving father, a dentist, becomes increasingly determined to keep her in what he has decided is her proper place—in the home. He hires the hypnotist, attractive young Henri, to give her a posthypnotic command: She will "see the world the way it truly is," and when angry, she will only be able to respond by saying, "All is well"—a recipe for disaster. Kindly Henri is drawn into the scheme solely because he is trying to raise money for his younger sister's needed surgery, of course. After the hypnosis, Olivia sees her father—vividly—for the monster he is, sees demoralized women fading into transparency and realizes the young man courting her is also a fiend. Although the romantic elements are predictable and the hypnosis component is overplayed, the early-1900s era is nicely portrayed, and the societal limits placed on Olivia are both daunting and realistic. A really malevolent dentist is amply creepy, and Olivia's father's threat believably pervades the tale, maximizing the suspense as she and Henri devise a plan to thwart his efforts. A smattering of period photos adds authenticity to this gripping, atmospheric story of mind control and self-determination. (Historical fiction. 11-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419712166
  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • Publication date: 10/14/2014
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 137,104
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Cat Winters is the author of In the Shadow of Blackbirds, which received three starred reviews and was a finalist for YALSA’s Morris Award for debut YA fiction. She grew up near Disneyland in Southern California. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 3, 2014

    The Good The theme. Yes, yes, and YES. This is the book that I w

    The Good
    The theme.
    Yes, yes, and YES. This is the book that I want my (future) daughters to read. This is the book that I want my (future) sons to read. Cat Winters blew me away with the way that she wrapped this story around the beginnings of feminism. Just like the women Cat Winters writes about planted seeds of feminism and equality, The Cure for Dreaming can plant the seed for the newer generations.

    I loved Olivia. I felt so much sympathy for her. There were times that I was brought to tears with what she had to endure. Cat Winters made such an incredible character with Olivia and I cannot imagine anyone else being capable to deliver the story in The Cure for Dreaming than her.

    From the very first scene, I adored Henri. I just knew that he would be a character that I will remember for a long time. And that he is. The development that went into his character was extraordinary. 

    The secondary characters.
    Cat Winters just has a thing for creating and molding remarkable characters. None of them let me down. Even whenever they were vile and I wanted to shake some sense in them, I could recognize how much the author put into developing this cast of characters.

    The setting.
    It was perfect. It was essential. It was heartbreaking. It was hopeful.

    I feel like if I keep going I'll just list every aspect of this book. It was that good. It's in the top three best books that I've read in 2014. It's one of those books that I wish I could put in the hands of everyone. It deserves to be read. It needs to be read.

    The Bad
    There is not a single bad thing I could say about this book.

    The In-Between
    Seriously, this book is flawless.

    **I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.

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  • Posted October 22, 2014

    I'll never get enough of Cat Winters's writing. Her books are in

    I'll never get enough of Cat Winters's writing. Her books are incredibly detailed and gripping. You cannot put her books down, nor do you want to. Unlike In The Shadow of Blackbirds, The Cure for Dreaming isn't heavy into the paranormal - instead of ghosts, we're dealing with a hypnotist.

    The basis of The Cure for Dreaming is the suffragist movement in the early 1900's, where Cat and Olivia take us through the trials and tribulations women faced just to be heard. And I guess I always knew it to be true, seeing it played out is a lot different than just being told, but it blew my mind that there were some women who were anti-suffragettes. Women, who agreed that their place was in the home and doing wifely duties. That their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons thought this way too. I don't know about you, but it makes my skin crawl.

    But I digress. The Cure for Dreaming is a beautiful, beautiful novel. The scenery is vivid, characters realistic, and plot immaculate. Olivia is a terribly strong main character and I want her as a friend. In a time when women were silenced and mocked, she became a voice of a gender. Although she started out as meek and afraid of her father, her strength grew to such a level that I can't imagine her not being admired.

    It's easy to imagine Olivia's character because Cat's words make her come alive. She makes this story come alive. I was sucked into this story, into this world, and it still won't let me go. These women, both real and fictitious, are incredibly brave and strong. Cat's characters aren't characters and The Cure For Dreaming isn't fiction. It's real and it's true. It's history. It's our history.

    Each relationship Olivia has with the various characters is artfully unique and well thought out - even that with her pigheaded father who is bound and determined she become the "perfect" daughter and future wife. And while I could not stand this man, a part of me also pities him. Teeny tiny amount of pity, mind you.

    I love Henri. While I would not say he is as strong as Olivia, I admire his strength through the situation he find himself in. He is an honest character who merely wants to do what is right, but finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place. The relationship he and Olivia has is so simple and so sweet that it's hard not to fall for Henri yourself.

    I have my copy of The Cure for Dreaming sitting next to me as I write this and I'm ready to read it again. I'm ready to re-experience Olivia's plight to find her voice and stand up for women's rights. There is absolutely nothing negative I can say about this book and it warms my heart.

    An exceptionally well told story, Cat certainly did her research to put the reader in 1900 Portland, Oregon. The strong ending only solidifies Cat's solid story telling. With a mixture of factual information, a detailed plot, a strong heroine, and the perfect dash of romance, The Cure for Dreaming is not a story to be missed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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