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Posted April 23, 2012
What an absolutely wonderful read! The Land of Eighteen Dreams is a series of stories from grandfather Benjamin to granddaughter Lily. Benjamin has a story for every occasion. He teaches through his stories but Lily, and I as a reader, never feel that he is preaching. Lily brings her problems to him from the time she is a child through her growing up and adult years. He has the solutions to her problems but instead of giving her the answer, Benjamin tells a story and allows Lily to figure out the solution to the problem through the story. She learns of his past, their ancestors, friends, and acquaintances.
I love the close bond between Lily and Benjamin. I can feel her mother’s exasperation with their closeness. It has the feeling of them ganging up on her but the feelings and emotions between Lily and Benjamin is what I would want for my child or for myself. They are honest with each other and call each other on it when it seems one or the other is being less than honest.
As I read the stories I could hear Benjamin’s voice as he spoke. I could feel Lily holding back her questions so she did not interrupt her grandfather. I loved the droll remarks he made to her when she questioned so much. Their relationship is so rare and precious.
Benjamin explains about the 18 dreams each of us has which concludes with the one that is special and different for each one of us. He then lets Lily work on her dreams. It was so beautiful to watch Lily grow up and search for her special dream.
The Land of Eighteen Dreams is a special book. There are many layers to it. It is a book to be savored, thought about, re-read. Benjamin was so alive. I laughed and I cried through his stories. I did not want it to end but, alas, The Land of Eighteen Dreams came to a close. Lily had to find her dream.