But just when Marin thinks she's safe in her make-believe fantasy world, the monsters come back and her dream turns to a nightmare. Something in the dream doesn't want Marin to wake up. In order to heal herself and her family, Marin must face the truth she's forgotten and conquer what lies behind the fourth wall.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In THE FOURTH WALL, Elizabeth Maria Naranjo gives readers a touching and creative meditation on the nature of grief and emotional healing. Marin has always had a unique dream life. She has the gift of lucid dreaming, meaning she is fully aware as she dreams and able to take action. After a car accident takes her mother's life and leaves her family in tatters, her dreams offer solace and sanctuary. This is fine until the unexpected intervention of a school psychologist--and contact with peers who are each damaged in his or her own way--makes Marin consider that maybe, just maybe, there's something for her back in the real world, though it means dealing with her pain and confusion. Only by now, her dream world has become a reality in its own right, and it won't set her free easily. Naranjo's characters are rich and real, with a psychological complexity usual in YA fiction. There's a lyrical quality to her writing that echoes Marin's dreams. Reality and fantasy co-exist flawlessly. The ending is a huge surprise, yet there's so much raw emotional truth in Marin's experience, this resolution is both believable and satisfying. There is nothing generic about this paranormal YA novel. It is a young adult's story told with depth and compassion. Naranjo's fantasy throws reality into stark relief so that, through the whirl and tumble of Marin's dreams, we more fully understand her and ourselves.
This novel left me quiet and thinking. Although it is intended for young people there is much in it for older readers also. The story was really touching and skillfully told, and the interplay of magic and reality, or perhaps dream and reality, is beautifully rendered. At the end I felt sad and relieved and really quite tearful. I had cared about what would happen to Marin, her father and her little lost brother. There are some elegantly written dialogue sections in which the thoughts, although not written in words, are clear, and about the whole story, there is something hypnotic. In the beginning there are tiny hints of an unknown worrying darkness that keeps you reading and draws you into the story. Towards the end, the story is fascinating and unnerving and benign creatures change in a surprising way.