“The Cure for Dreaming” by Cat Winters
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
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.
Winters does it again! She was able to paint a wonderful image of life during the Suffrage times. You could see many people’s perspective on the issue. She did a wonderful job of capturing Olivia’s hopelessness. I could feel her fear and anger. I couldn’t image being silenced like that.
I loved the pictures of the time period between the chapters. They weren’t forced into the story but rather supplemented the story.
The hypnotism was a nice touch. I believe it was fairly common back then so it was easy to have it sit with the time period. It was an interesting touch to have Olivia see things she was really passionate about: education and women’s suffrage in particular. It wasn’t over the top. It was just enough. Olivia is simply a teenage girl trying to find her place in this world.
Olivia was a great character. She’s strong and not willing to back down from her beliefs. Henry was lovely as well. I loved that he let Olivia be and didn’t try to change her (more than he had to). It was nice to see that they didn’t end up together. They liked each other very much but Olivia needed to go to New York to see her mother and try a new life. Henry needed to get his sister to the doctor.
The bottom line? Yet another great mix of historical fiction with paranormal.