Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

From Goodreads: 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.

My Rating: 4 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Much like her debut, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, Cat Winters’ sophomore novel, The Cure for Dreaming, is a great blend of paranormal and historical fiction that’s written in such a way that you’re transported to the time period of its setting.

The year is 1900 and change is in the air in Portland, Oregon as women fight for their right to vote alongside men. One of these suffragists is our narrator, Olivia, whose father is very much against the idea of women entering the domain of politics. As a result, he hires a hypnotist to cure Olivia of her dreams of becoming an equal to a man in any way. Thankfully, Henri Reverie, does not share the same opinions as Mr. Mead, and rather than letting Olivia see the world the way it should be, he lets her see it the way it is. Although I’m sceptical about hypnotism, I did find the public and private sessions of hypnotism fascinating, and would have like more factual information about it at the end of The Cure for Dreaming.

I also liked Winters’ ability to make me care for or hate her characters. For example, I loathed Olivia’s father for his extremely controlling nature, and am very grateful that dentistry is no longer the way it used to be because having Mr. Mead as your dentist … *shudders*. On the other hand, I fully supported the romance between Henri and Olivia because Olivia finds a true partner in Henri.  

A book that reminds you not to take your rights for granted, The Cure for Dreaming was released in October 2014 by Amulet Books.  

Comments About the Cover: It’s intriguing because of how the girl is positioned. I’d definitely want to learn more about the book if I saw this cover in a bookstore. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (ABRAMS) for free via Netgalley. 


  1. I think I'm going to loathe Mr. Mead something fierce Z, and I can't wait. I so love to hate villainous characters!!! I want to throttle him already for hiring a hypnotist to cure his daughter of her "delusions" that men and women could be equal, and that's just after reading your review. I imagine I'm going to wish much violence on him after reading the book itself!

  2. Yay, I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Z! I wanted to throttle Mr. Mead so badly when I read this book. What a despicable character! I wish we got to learn more about Henri. He definitely has an interesting background.

  3. I actually felt that Olivia's father was a bit TOO villanous, unrealistically so. It was one of the few grievances I had with this book. Other than that, I enjoyed it more than I can put into words.

  4. I love a romance that I can really get behind, and if I become invested in the characters to where I can love or hate them, it's even better! Agree about the cover, it also has a bit of a creepy factor to it.

  5. This sounds really cool! I don't usually like 1900s historical fictions, but this one has a very strong premise and a interesting topic. I have heard so many people praising her debut book too, so definitely won't miss this one.

    Angel @ Spare Reads


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