Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Boat of Dreams: A Christmas Story” as Want to Read:
The Boat of Dreams: A Christmas Story
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Boat of Dreams: A Christmas Story

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  97 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
In 1969, William Foster, Sr., a thirty-three-year-old army reserve soldier, is lost in action in Vietnam. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Sarah Ann; a six-year-old daughter, Lila; and a thirteen-year-old son, Will, Jr. They live in a trailer on the coast of Maine, and parked beside the trailer is their father's beautiful but unreliable lobster boat, the "Sarah Ann." The ...more
Hardcover, 111 pages
Published October 28th 2003 by Touchstone Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Boat of Dreams, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Boat of Dreams

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 29, 2015 Pamela rated it it was ok
Well, this was a bizarre little book. Halloween meets Christmas with a cup of good cheer and a side of cheese. Primarily written with such elementary language, it reads like a sweet children's book.

But THEN.....

Around page fifty, the tone begins to change.

Enter Dexter: The irreverent, beer drinking, soap-opera watching, grumpy ghost. The supposed "Spirit of Christmas", giver of dreams.

Or nightmares.

Depending on one's definition of what constitutes a good Christmas story.

The overall message
Justin Duckett
Oct 31, 2013 Justin Duckett rated it it was amazing
Christmas is 2 months away, but it feels like it's tomorrow.

The Boat of Dreams: A Christmas Story is a story about a family that has nothing to do for Christmas and lost their father in the war. They have to find a way to make their season worth while and have fun without their father. But, there's some competition for their father's lobster boat, and the family doesn't want to sell it. But, one morning they awoke and found the Christmas spirit sitting in their living room. Together, the childre
Dec 27, 2015 Katelyn rated it really liked it
My dad gave me a copy of this book last year, pointing out the author (I really enjoyed Preston's books on infectious diseases) and told me to read it. I didn't get a chance until this morning, after a restless sleep waiting to hear news about my dying grandfather. Perhaps my current emotional state helped me connect to this tale of two children who just want their dad to come home, seizing on the idea of sharing dreams as a way to escape reality. Quite a nice little read, all in one sitting. De ...more
Sep 26, 2009 Kimberly rated it really liked it
The Boat of Dreams by Richard Preston is a heart-warming tale of hope and love, which was originally written for his friend who was dying of breast cancer. This is a wonderful story to share with the entire family, especially during the holidays.

Preston brings Santa to life in a very `realistic" way, much to both the horror and delight of thirteen-year-old Will and his six-year-old sister, Lila. "Santa" teaches Will and Lila to dream their biggest dreams, allowing their love to flow for everyone
Apr 03, 2008 Joanna rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne Marie
Dec 10, 2014 Anne Marie rated it liked it
This was a short Christmas story about a family in Maine who lived in a trailer and had an old lobster boat in the meadow. The boat belonged to the father who was thought to have died in Vietnam. An old man, supposedly Santa, takes the kids on a ride with the boat all over the world, thinking of dreams to give to everyone.
Dec 18, 2013 Terri rated it really liked it
Loved the story. A new book to read and re-read every Christmas. A young boy trying to get through Christmas without his Dad who was lost in a rice paddy in Vietnam. He and his sister get home from school one day to find a dirty, smelly old spirit in their home. Of course, it's a feel good book, but well worth the read. And it does make you feel good and warm and teary inside.
Cara Kelly Merrill
Jan 16, 2014 Cara Kelly Merrill rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me, and I'm glad I read it. The plot pulls every emotion out of you: fear, happiness, sadness, anger, and more. However, it's the 'unknown' in this book that really makes you think. Strange, weird, odd, unpredictable...but very good little book!
Baley Whary
Dec 29, 2014 Baley Whary rated it it was amazing
This is a good Christmas book to read when you're by yourself. Be prepared with tissues. Really, though, this is a very touching story and really gets to the heart of Christmas.
Lawrence Doggett, Jr.
Oct 13, 2011 Lawrence Doggett, Jr. rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story of love, hope and life by the same man who can scare the pants off you. After reading The Hot Zone I never would have expected this from him. Nice to see he's got balance.
Jan 17, 2009 Kathy rated it really liked it
if you love sweet story this is good one
Raquel Williams
Raquel Williams rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2012
Tina rated it liked it
Dec 13, 2011
Roseann rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2011
Robin Bishop
Robin Bishop rated it it was ok
May 13, 2014
Christy rated it liked it
Dec 20, 2008
John rated it it was ok
Mar 30, 2013
Bob Lehn
Bob Lehn rated it liked it
Mar 21, 2014
Jun 28, 2012 Liz rated it liked it
A heart warming story about the power of love.
Dec 22, 2009 Sam rated it liked it
This was a nice Christmas book to read during the holidays.
Lisa rated it really liked it
Nov 23, 2015
Joanne Nussbaum
Joanne Nussbaum rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2015
Dawn rated it liked it
Jan 04, 2013
Rebekah rated it really liked it
Oct 14, 2011
Dec 22, 2009 Vicky rated it it was amazing
Very good Christmas book, with a great surprise ending.
Stephanie rated it it was ok
Jun 24, 2012
Diane rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2013
Terri rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2012
Donald rated it liked it
Dec 29, 2009
Allison Fetch
Allison Fetch rated it really liked it
Dec 14, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Richard Preston is a journalist and nonfiction writer.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.
More about Richard Preston...

Share This Book