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Publisher's Summary

Warm, wise, and magical - the latest novel by the best-selling author of The Little Paris Bookshop and The Little French Bistro is an astonishing exploration of the thresholds between life and death.

Henri Skinner is a hardened ex-war reporter on the run from his past. On his way to see his son, Sam, for the first time in years, Henri steps into the road without looking and collides with oncoming traffic. He is rushed to a nearby hospital, where he floats, comatose, between dreams, reliving the fairy tales of his childhood and the secrets that made him run away in the first place.

After the accident, Sam - a 13-year-old synesthete with an IQ of 144 and an appetite for science fiction - waits by his father’s bedside every day. There, he meets Eddie Tomlin, a woman forced to confront her love for Henri after all these years, and 12-year-old Madelyn Zeidler, a coma patient like Henri and the sole survivor of a traffic accident that killed her family. As these four very different individuals fight - for hope, for patience, for life - they are bound together inextricably, facing the ravages of loss and first love side by side.

A revelatory, urgently human story that examines what we consider serious and painful alongside light and whimsy, The Book of Dreams is a tender meditation on memory, liminality, and empathy, asking with grace and gravitas what we will truly find meaningful in our lives once we are gone.

©2019 Nina George (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“An effective exploration of connections that transcend physical boundaries...a poignant story about longing, nostalgia, and the pain of missed opportunities.” (Kirkus Reviews)

"An empathetic and emotionally stunning novel. Never preachy or maudlin, this deep dive into some of life's most haunting questions will appeal to fans of Isabel Allende and Mary Simses." (Booklist)

“Captivating.... This exploration of unfinished relationships has a haunting, evocative quality, and is a perfect, conversation-starting selection for book groups.” (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Book of Dreams

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating and mind-blowing!

Nina George navigates the unknown realms between life and death as if they were known, leaving me to wonder what is real and not, and where did her research take her for this novel? I learned a lot, felt a LOT and thought a lot, about life, death, sickness, memory, dreams, love, regret...

I feel so completely unqualified to say anything other than that I have loved all of George’s novels and look forward to her next.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful, moving, precious

it takes about halfway through the book to begin realizing its brilliant meditation on life death and the space in between. Nina George is my new favorite author!

4 people found this helpful

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Wonderfully touching and thoughtful book.

While quite different than the other book that I read, Little Paris Bookshop ( which was whimsically beautiful), I found this one to listen to. It was a more painful but just as poignant and well written tale. Heart rending and warming, it’s worth a read despite the few unnecessary Romance nice twists.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing narrators, a great author, and for the most part a good story

I loved all three of the narrators. I think they did a fantastic job of bringing each character to life and really bringing me into each moment of the story. The author’s descriptions are both beautiful and insightful – some of the best imagery I have experienced. I enjoyed most of the story, although I’m not sure it needed to end the way it did to carry-on with its message. The ending definitely left me a little bit sad and felt somewhat unnecessary.

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Amazing accomplishment

It's hard to believe someone can capture a creditable dreamlike state and stream of consciousness but the author has done it. Also hard to believe that a story whose main character is in a coma could be compelling at all. But, again, the author has managed it even while weaving ongoing themes and real human experience into it. It restores my faith that there are still authors capable of producing works of art. Thank you Nina George.

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An emotional journey to self-awareness

If you want a love story with a Hollywood ending, look for something else. But if you want a book with depth, existential questions, and a profound ending, listen to this book. The subject matter is heavy but for me it was worth every moment.

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Very Repetitive

I would have given this five stars had it not been for the sluggish ending and massive repetition throughout the book. Otherwise, it was rather interesting had it not slogged so much.

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The ending you wish for isn’t what you think

This book was a bit confusing until I figured all the different stories were dreams, or maybe time travels or deja vu. I haven’t decided if it was a happy ending or a totally WRONG and horrible ending. Either way, it makes one think.

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  • jp
  • 12-26-21

Worthy of more stars

Gripping from the start, this is a lovely, thoughtful story that I didn’t want to end. The narrators are exceptional, bringing the characters to life to perfection.