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The Dream Peddler: A Novel based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
If you can order a dream with satisfaction guaranteed or you get your money back. What would you ask for? That is what the dream peddler, Robert Owens offer the small farming town where Evie Dawson lived. Her son disappeared the same morning that Robert arrived. This is a first novel written by Martine Fournier Watson, she has her own beautiful writing style that will keep you turning the page to the end. The book is set in the old days when life was simple and yet Martine is able to give us a book with just the right amount of twists and turns to keep you reading. Using dreams to find adventure, to escape or to find happiness is temporary albeit satisfying. One scene that resonates with me is when Robert was having a conversation with a young guy telling him that life is an adventure, whether you choose to leave or stay, the adventure is here, as he touched his heart.
This reminded me very much of a Diane Setterfield authored novel. There is no specifically identified location or time setting for this story. There is a just a general feel of a small farming village with a general store and everyone knows their neighbor. There are quaint activities such as quilt making and a summer fair where farm animals, pies and quilts get prize ribbons. People pack picnic lunches, drink lemonade and tea, and ladies are housewives. Everyone goes to church on Sunday. The book begins with a 9-year old boy who wakes up at night, transfixed by the moon. He creeps out of his bed, silently into the night to get closer to it...unbeknownst to his parents. The parents wake up and start their morning as usual with the mom Evie preparing breakfast and the husband George coming downstairs to bulk up before his farm work. Then they discover that their son Benny is missing. It is winter time and there is snow on the ground. After an unreasonable amount of time passes and Benny still hasn't returned home, a search party of the father George and some local men scour the grounds. This goes on for a few days until quite by accident little Benny is discovered under the ice of the frozen bay. On the fateful morning that Benny went missing, there was a new arrival in town. His name was Robert Dawson and he walked on his own two feet- tethered to a cart full of wares behind him. His first order of business was to find a place to board and visit the general store for some supplies. One of them was a bag of candy hearts to butter up potential customers. What was he selling? Dreams. Tell him what you wanted to dream about and he would retreat to his room and the vials secreted away in his bedroom drawer and prepare a draft in a little bottle for you. Just a swallow before bedtime and if it didn't live up to its expectations, there was a money-back guarantee. A teenage boy could yearn to dream about sordid trysts with women. A young lady might dream about her future husband. Or, someone could ask to have no dreams at all. Sometimes the Dream Peddler would sit outside the general store to meet up with customers, or sometimes they came to him at Violet Burnley's place where he boarded. It was a small town, so it didn't take long for the word to get around. The things I loved about the book were the small town life with good moral values. A simpler way of life. I loved the way people visit each other and make tea and serve cake. Life was quiet and slower. I also was intrigued by the main character of Evie, mother of the deceased little boy Benny. Following her stages of grief was an emotional journey I enjoyed travelling with her. That might sound twisted, but I am drawn to the melancholy in stories. There was mystery swirling throughout the book that did not totally resolve for me, but I still enjoyed the ride. Thank you to Penguin Publishing Group for providing an advance reader copy via Edelweiss.