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The Dream Keeper's Daughter

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An archaeologist discovers her presumed-missing boyfriend is trapped more than a hundred years in the past—a love story that transcends time and place, from the author of the New York Times bestseller The Memory Thief.

Eight years after the unsolved disappearance of her boyfriend Max Adair, archaeologist Isabel Griffin has managed to move on and rebuild her life with her young daughter, Finn, her last tie to Max. But after a series of strange incidents, Isabel begins to wonder if Max might still be alive somewhere, trying to communicate with her. She has no idea that the where isn’t the problem—it’s the when. Max has slipped through time and place, landing on his ancestral family plantation in 1816 Barbados, on the eve of a historic slave uprising. As Isabel searches for answers, Max must figure out not only how to survive the violence to come, but how to get back to his own century, the woman he loves, and the daughter he has only ever met in his dreams.

480 pages, Paperback

First published July 1, 2017

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About the author

Emily Colin

11 books180 followers
Emily Colin writes love stories with supernatural twists for adults and teens. Her debut novel, THE MEMORY THIEF, was a New York Times bestseller and a Target Emerging Authors Pick; she followed it up with THE DREAM KEEPER’S DAUGHTER.

Emily is also the author of the young adult, romantic dystopian-fantasy Seven Sins series. SWORD OF THE SEVEN SINS, the first book, was a Foreword INDIES Award finalist, won the YA fiction award of the North Carolina Indie Author Project, and was shortlisted for the 2021 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy. The second novel of the series, SIEGE OF THE SEVEN SINS, is a 2021 silver IPPY Award winner and Foreword INDIES finalist.

Emily co-edited and contributed to the young adult anthologies WICKED SOUTH: SECRETS AND LIES and UNBOUND: STORIES OF TRANSFORMATION, LOVE, AND MONSTERS, which was a SUSPENSE MAGAZINE “Best of” 2021 pick as well as a 2021 Foreword INDIES Award finalist. DISSENT, the 2022 romance anthology to which she contributed a short story, was a #1 Amazon category bestseller in over eight countries.

Emily's diverse life experience includes organizing a Coney Island tattoo and piercing show, hauling fish at a dolphin research center, roaming New York City as an itinerant teenage violinist, helping launch two small publishing companies, and working to facilitate community engagement in the arts. A former Pitch Wars mentor and KissPitch mentor, Emily is a writing instructor, freelance editor, and book coach. She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina. You can find her at www.emilycolin.com and on IG at @emily_colin.

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Profile Image for No Apology Book Reviews.
243 reviews16 followers
July 15, 2017
A frustrating mess with an identity crisis and unresolved plotlines

I would like to thank Emily Colin, Ballantine Books/Random House, and NetGalley for allowing me to read an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

All that follows is only my opinion and how I personally perceived the book.

*takes deep breath*

I gave myself a day to calm down, because the first time I started to write this review, there was—well, let’s just say there was a lot of attitude, and it wasn’t at all appropriate. So now I’m going to try to do this in a mature—ish—fashion.

I don’t even know where to start. I apologize if this seems disjointed at all; I’m overwhelmed with everything I want to say.

I won’t lie—I couldn’t stop reading this. I caught a few hours of sleep, but otherwise I couldn’t stop reading this book. At first, it was because I was enthralled by the mystery, wanting to figure out what on earth was going on. I was hooked all the way to about 75% through—and then I couldn’t stop reading because I simply could NOT believe the story was ending like that. I kept thinking, “No, that’s not how this is supposed to end. Someone’s going to have a revelation, and everything will be okay. Everything can still be okay.”

That’s life in a nutshell right there. Your entire life, you retain hope that things will work out the way you want them to, will work out for the best.

And then they don’t, and you’re left thinking, “What was the point?”

What WAS the point of this book?

I want to give credit where it’s due—Colin’s got a lot of education under her belt, and it’s apparent. I had to look up several words, and all the papers she’s undoubtedly written taught her how to structure excellent sentences and paragraphs. The writing style, in the most mechanical sense, was professional and impressive, which lent it a literary-fiction vibe. And the research she must have done—her acknowledgments were three Kindle pages long, in the smallest print! She wrote as though she had first-hand experience with every topic she mentioned. I have nothing but respect for that level of hard work and dedication. That’s why I gave two stars instead of one.

But this story was crap. I can’t talk about it without spoilers—or raising my blood pressure—so here’s your warning.

This book wanted to be everything at once—women’s fiction, literary fiction, romance, fantasy, mystery, historical fiction—and without genre tethering its focus, it was a mess. I have no idea what the story was actually trying to achieve. Everything in Isabel’s viewpoint held the tone of women’s fiction. The mystery was present for the first two-thirds or so. The fantasy elements were more important in the beginning, as we discovered Finn’s abilities and realized Max had time-traveled, then didn’t matter at all toward the end. Max’s point-of-view in the middle was pretty much historical fiction. And then the last quarter threw all that away, completely disregarded it all, leaving plotlines unresolved, and turned it into an infuriating romance that made me want to vomit.

The supernatural elements, which were the backbone of the plot, were never explained or given rules. Julia was back in time for a year, but it was six years in real life. Max goes back in time for two weeks, and eight real years go by. According to Julia’s timetable, two months would equal one real year, so Max should only have been gone for three real months. So why eight years? If it was just to place the present where Colin wanted it, so that Isabel could make the decisions she does, that’s incredibly lazy storytelling. Also, did Julia and Max age at all with their traveling? Did they return looking appropriately older, or did they return in the same condition they left? And why did all of the dreams and weird communication happen when they did? The occurrences were spread out over two weeks for Max, right? So shouldn’t they have happened few and far between for Isabel and Finn throughout the eight years? Why did they all happen in the same time-frame as Max, though time isn’t moving parallel? Did he just float around in limbo for eight years, then the powers that be decided to let everything finally happen? And what explanation was there for the Thin Space in the Adairs’ woods? All we were told is that the Adairs’ Scottish ancestors believed such areas existed all over the world. How did Robert Adair find it? And why was he the one who “lured” Max into the past? Why did he wait to “lure” Max when he did? And what had his life been like? Did he ever try to go back himself? Why did Julia and Max have to do the dirty work?

There’s so much I don’t understand! What was the point of any of it if you weren’t going to give meaning to any of it? You just made the things you wanted to happen, happen, with no rhyme or reason? No. That’s not how it works. Just because it’s fiction, just because it’s supernatural, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to make sense.

What explanation and boundaries were there for Finn’s abilities? She could read minds, she could read emotions, she knew the future, she could communicate with people lost in time, sometimes through dreams, sometimes not? And only at opportune moments, of course. What else could she do? And how? Mystical blood was suggested in passing but then nothing more was said about it. Were her abilities particularly strong because she got Adair blood through both her parents? On that revelation, did they ever tell anyone about the Brightmore baby actually being an Adair? Did they have enough proof? What were the ramifications of that discovery? And it still feels somewhat creepy that Max and Isabel turned out to be distant cousins. I wish I could see that family tree Julia had worked so hard to trace; maybe actually seeing how many people separated them, diluting the Adair blood, would make me feel better.

Finn and Max were the only two characters I liked. They were the only ones who tried to fix anything, who saw beyond themselves and wanted to make others happy. Everyone else had a woe-is-me complex. Now, I know tragedies occurred, so they were entitled to some self-pity, but it seemed like they were all trying to one-up each other on who was more devastated and who was more effed up by their past traumas. Eventually I was so disgusted with the lot of them that I just went numb to it all.

Isabel was one of the most arrogant, selfish, and entitled characters I’ve ever read. I borderline hated her. She made everything about herself. Oh, woe is me, I can’t wallow in unrequited love and abandonment issues anymore because my mother and the man I love have miraculously come back from the dead. Oh, woe is me, men won’t stop falling in love with me even though I completely ignore them with the excuse that I’m still in love with my first boyfriend. Oh, woe is me, my gifted daughter is ridiculously well-adjusted despite it all. Oh, what am I to do?


Ryan was pouty and immature. Every time he opened his mouth, I imagined myself pointing at the door and saying, GTFO. He didn’t need to be in this book, not if it had focused on the time-traveling and supernatural plots. His only purpose was to conflict Isabel in her romantic women’s fiction storyline. There still could have been tension between her and Max when he got home, but they should have worked it out without Ryan complicating things further. Their sex scenes broke my heart, made me actually feel ill, because it felt so utterly wrong.

Then I remember I don’t like Isabel. Max definitely deserves better than her. So Ryan can go ahead and cloud her judgment with a woman’s greatest folly—the notion that she can fix a man with love. Or, in my opinion, fix a man with guilt, pity, and obligation disguised as love. I think they should go off to New York and leave Finn with Max.

So yeah, Isabel and Ryan end up together. For eight years, she’s pretends to still be hung up on Max—why, I have no idea—living in her own little world where her emotions are the only ones that matter, completely oblivious to how much Ryan loves her and wants her. Then Max comes back, and after all that time, she decides she’s not interested in him anymore. She rips his heart out of his chest, throws it on the ground, crushes it beneath her heal, spits on it—and then flounces off to New York with Ryan.

It’s like… It’s like Max was her favorite toy, and then one day she lost it. She looked everywhere, did everything she could to find it. All other toys paled in comparison, because they weren’t her favorite one. And that mentality stuck for a long time, even after she’d gotten new toys and found one she really liked. It didn’t replace her favorite, nothing could, but it was fun. And then one day, she finds her favorite toy…and after a brief moment of elation, realizes it’s not as cool as she remembered. It’s old and dirty and used. She doesn’t want it to belong in her life anymore; it’s not good enough. She decides she likes the other one better, and throws her old favorite toy away.

I’m so bloody furious thinking about it that I want to hurl my computer across the room.

How dare she? How dare Isabel disregard the world and everyone in it, then get angry and flustered when it smacks her in the face and demands some respect? I don’t think Max’s perspective ever fully registered with her—that he’d only been gone a couple of weeks, and comes back to find he’s missed watching his daughter grow up, and that the woman he loves, the woman he’d wanted to marry, can’t stand to be near him. Plus he probably had a bit of PTSD from his time in 1816, and he was still coming to grips with everything that had happened there. But none of that mattered to her; it was as if she no longer saw Max as a real person, just a figment of her past with no import on her present or future. She focused instead on getting Ryan to stop whining.

You know what, Ryan? You’re a masochistic moron. You’re in love with a woman for eight years, and you never work up the friggin balls to talk to her about it? Your entire adult life, you cower behind the excuse of your traumatic childhood, and then expect me to respect you, coddle you? A strong man would have come to terms with it, would have risen above it, but no, you allowed it to hold you back and rot you from the inside out. If Max hadn’t come back, would you have ever told Isabel how you felt? But Max does come back, and you realize you’ve missed your chance, missed eight years’ worth of chances, and throw a tantrum. You’ve always kept your distance, then when another man finally threatens to take them away, you clutch them to your chest and holler, “Mine!” Isabel doesn’t love you. She was supposed to be with Max. But because you threw a fit, and because you’d been instrumental in Finn’s happy childhood, she makes herself into a consolation prize out of gratitude. And she’s psychotic enough to convince herself it’s the right thing to do.

I’m not saying Isabel wasn’t allowed to fall out of love and move on with her life. Eight years is a long time. She grew up and turned into a independent woman. She even said herself at the beginning that she’d stopped thinking about Max. So then why did she become obsessed with him, claiming she still loved him, when she thought he was trying to communicate with her? Did she think she was supposed to? If she was as over him as she’d come to believe, she would have gone to a therapist and wondered what her subconscious was trying to tell her. But no, she stubbornly insisted she was perfectly sane and wallowed anew in unrequited love until Max was standing before her…and she realized, yeah, she really was over him.

It just— It made no sense. The ideas and theories presented could have sounded logical and reasonable if written correctly, but not here. I didn’t buy anything I read here. Everything Isabel did and thought was cheap and reactionary—on purpose, because for the most part, she was propelling the plot—as it were.

What was sad was, during that last quarter, it was almost as if Colin knew the story was circling the drain. I couldn’t even follow all the psychological twists and turns she pushed Isabel through to justify the destination. It seemed like she was desperate to make it sound plausible that Isabel should choose Ryan. Didn’t work. It reeked of bullshit.

And the most frustrating part? Despite all Isabel and Ryan’s proclamations of loving Finn, that Finn was all that mattered, that they didn’t want to hurt her—they never once, NEVER ONCE, in the entire book, asked her for her opinion. Not if she wanted to go to camp, not if she wanted Ryan to be her daddy, not if she liked Max, not if she wanted to move to New York. Arrogant, selfish pricks.

And the actual end was terribly abrupt. I have no idea why Colin ended it like that. Did she think it was a stylistic/artistic thing to do, just cutting it off like that? It might have been, if anything had been resolved, but nothing had, so the abrupt cut-off was just an abrupt cut-off.

I have so many questions!!!

So Max and Finn go to Barbados to help him try to find his balance. Does he? Find his balance, I mean? What happens after that? Does he ever go back in time again, in general? Does he open his own greenhouse? Does he find a woman to fall in love with who won’t abandon him? Does he make up for lost time with Finn? Does he do more research into the whole time-traveling thing, or will he not approach the topic again with a ten-foot pole?

What happened to Andrew and Julia’s relationship? They completely fell off the radar. Am I just supposed to assume they picked up right where they left off, like nothing had happened and no time had passed? Then why on earth was that course of action so unacceptable for Max and Isabel? They could change, but Andrew and Julia couldn’t? What if either of them had moved on? They’d been apart for fourteen years, not just eight.

Did I understand correctly that Finn’s full name was Finnish? Not Finnegan, Finley, Finnia, or even Finnbar? I don’t remember another one being mentioned. Unless her name is just Finn, period, and Isabel was teasing when she called her Finnish? But if her full name is Finnish, does it have any significance? Also, was she born prematurely? Max said it was March when they created Finn, and Isabel told him she was pregnant in May, so she couldn’t have been more than six or eight weeks along, according to him. But Finn tells him her birthday is in October, so Isabel would have had her when she was only somewhere between seven and eight months along. Isabel said her pregnancy was rocky, but otherwise never mentioned any difficulty in having Finn. So was it a continuity error on Colin’s part, or did she not utilize that detail?

Another error - The night that Isabel sees Max on her patio, it’s storming. Hard. I would assume that means there’s cloud cover, right? Then how would she have seen him by the light of the “big moon”? She makes the observation that he hadn’t set off her security light and the only reason she saw him was because of the bright moonlight. Doubtful. I’m not sure how much distance separated them, physically, but it would have been better to say that the light from the kitchen shining outside had illuminated him.

I’m curious about Max’s parents. It was suggested that they had relationship issues, that perhaps Mr. Adair had cheated on Jennifer. I kind of wanted to know more about that.

I was also curious to know more about Hannah. Max thought his three- or four-times great grandfather had raped one of his slaves and produced Hannah, but it was never mentioned again. He never asked about it, and Hannah never mentioned possibly being his relative. Not that I expected them to have a casual chat about it, but… I don’t know. I just wanted to know more.

Oh—don’t get attached to the grad students in the beginning. The only one of them who had anything to do was Jake, and his only purpose was to fawn over Isabel and stroke her ego. Why they were given any significance at all is beyond me.

And finally - Why is it titled The Dream Keeper’s Daughter?? No one was ever called a dream-keeper. The term was never used in the book! No one ever tried to figure out how they were having the strange dreams/visions, or what they meant. They just happened. Besides, who is the title referring to, Isabel or Finn? Or hell, it could be referring to the Adair baby that the Brightmore’s stole. It’s a whimsical, intriguing title, but it makes no sense.

Okay, this is freakishly long, maybe the longest review I’ve written, and I’ve given myself a massive headache thinking it through. There’s so much more I could rant about, but I’m done. If you pick up this book, you might enjoy it for the first little while…but I guarantee you, if you don’t get fed up in the first three quarters, the last one will make you as mutinous as I was.

Profile Image for Pamela.
461 reviews76 followers
May 24, 2017
3.5 stars - A pretty good story with a nice time-slip that I really liked. I was rooting for the leads, but I have to say, that I'm not sure that I liked where the author went with the story in the end. And all the sex towards the end...way over the top! Finn is pretty adorable so I would have liked a little more done with her. Overall, a fast read with good characters, but a disappointing ending for me.

**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**
Profile Image for Angie.
1,097 reviews73 followers
June 17, 2017
I think I'll settle on 3.5 stars, but definitely have some conflicted feelings on it.

What I liked:
Time slip and the era/setting they went to (rebellion era Barbados--early 1800s)
Quirky characters

What I didn't like so much:
Gratuitous sex a few times (too descriptive without any real reason)
Didn't really care for where the author took the story in the end.

I was vested in the story and where it was going. It definitely held my interest though I didn't always like or agree with decisions of characters. Mixed in with the time travel aspect are family secrets that finally get unraveled, romance, history & mystery. I am grateful for the chance to have read it!

**Big thanks to NetGalley and Random House-Ballantine for an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review**
Profile Image for Jenny Jo Weir.
1,545 reviews79 followers
February 9, 2022
I was pleasantly surprised with this book and enjoyed it...until about half way through.

Pardon me while I go on a tiny rant.
First, it was intriguing and entertaining, the whole time travel thing was cool. Then it started to drag on a little and lag. About 3/4 of the way I was ready for it to end (it did not need to be this long or drawn out). But then, the ending!!! WHAT?!?!

Look, I'm all for open opinions here and I honestly would have been good with either choice, until all the back and forth, fickle, wishy washy emotions. You mean to tell me you waited all this time, all these years, and NOW ALL OF THE SUDDEN...just no! She seriously went from decent to one of the most annoying female characters ever. And I don't think all the additional trauma and such was necessary for R. It would have made sense towards the beginning or middle, but to throw that in at the end felt forced or like an afterthought. Like the author was trying to compel the reader and give them a reason for the decision, yet the immaturity displayed by both (I'm not including M) did the opposite. They both irritated me to no end. I wanted to slap them both, especially her! WOW! That seems harsh in writing, yet it's my honest feedback nonetheless. Sorry. This one was a big bust.
Profile Image for Leah.
1,052 reviews58 followers
August 1, 2017
The Dream-Keeper’s Daughter had so much going for it and I was fully prepared to see it through to the end. I love a star-crossed romance that spans centuries, but in the end I simply felt robbed. The one shining moment of the novel was that I learned about Bussa’s Rebellion, a part of history previously unknown to me and now I’m interested in learning more. As for the novel itself, I’m left wondering what the point of it was.

For the full review and more, head over to The Pretty Good Gatsby!
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,258 reviews8,700 followers
September 19, 2017
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

The books I have the hardest times reviewing are the MEH books, and THE DREAM KEEPER'S DAUGHTER is one such book. In the struggle to find something to say beyond, "MEH," I can hyperfocus on the things that annoyed me, the end result being that the book comes across as far worse than it actually was.

That being said, this particular book sparked lots o' irritation to draw that focus. The numerous references to the all-the-boys-want-her heroine as a modern-day "Lara Croft" (yes, seriously), the wholly unexplained magic system, the anticlimactic "plot twist" at the very end . . . It was all very basic.

Like the haphazard daydream of an adolescent girl put to paper.

Despite what I consider to be a fairly predictable plot, I can't go into more detail without spoilers, so I apologize for the vaguery, but it can't be helped. *shrugs awkwardly*

When the focus wasn't on the (highly suspect) supernatural aspects of the story, it was on mundane post-pictures-of-your-morning-snack-b/c-yay-social-media type details like:

I park on a side street, feeling lucky to have found a spot so close, and make my way to the library, taking a shortcut through one of the tree-lined courtyards that houses some of the college’s older buildings. The sun is brutal, and the humidity’s not much better. I push open the door to the air-conditioned lobby with a sense of deep relief.

I'm so bored.

And bored and irritated are not what I look for in a book.

THE DREAM KEEPER'S DAUGHTER by Emily Colin, if I'm being generous, is urban fantasy lite--maybe okay for dabblers who won't care that supernatural details don't hold up under scrutiny, but not for anyone who needs solid world-building despite the unreality of the story being told. Combine that with the caricature of a heroine, and I just can't. Not recommended.

Jessica Signature
Profile Image for The Lit Bitch.
1,248 reviews390 followers
August 17, 2017
This book has a lovely cover which is what caught my eye enough to read the description as well.

I am a huge fan of authors like Menna van Praag and this one is marketed to fans of her work so I instantly felt like this one was worth a read…….eye catching cover and the promise of a time slip romance, easy yes for me.

There were things that I really liked about this one, but there were things that were problematic for me as well.

First, let’s start with things that I liked. I liked the setting and time travel theme. This book was set in Colonial Barbados and I LOVED that I stumbled upon a book set in this exotic location and unique time period. Sometimes an unfamiliar location or time period don’t work well in novels….people like a reference point or a place that they are somewhat familiar with and I’ve noticed that obscure islands don’t always work in some stories. But in this case I thought it worked nicely. I have never been to Barbados and I know next to nothing about the Colonial era particularity in that part of the world, but with the author’s hand I could get a basic feel for the island and I liked how it played a part in the story.

The main characters were engaging and I liked them just fine. It was clear that the author went to great extent to make them appealing to readers. I liked how the story was told from two perspectives (Isabel and Max), I thought it gave the audience a well rounded perspective about what was happening not to mention they were a little quirky which I found fun. I also liked that Isabel was an archaeologist, that’s just not a common profession in some books so I thought that was interesting and I liked it and thought it was fitting for the story.

Though there were things I liked, there were other things that I just didn’t. I think what got me was the over done sex. Before you roll your eyes and call me a prude, I want to go on record and say that I have zero problem with graphic sex in novels….when it serves a purpose. Or if the book is marketed as purely an adult romance novel. Sure this book is labeled as a ‘romance’ genre on Goodreads, but there is a difference between romance, and ROMANCE. This is the latter.

It would have been fine if it had suited a purpose but I didn’t think in this case it served a purpose to the overall story. I also saw a lot of other reviews that felt the same way. The first half of the book pretty good and had it continued the same way for the second half of the book, I think it would have been better but the second half just went in a completely different direction that the first part of the book.

Basically I liked this book but I didn’t love it. I think there were some things that the author missed the mark on a little (one being the overuse of sex for no greater purpose in the novel) and I just think overall it could have been better. But that said, I liked her writing style and I was intrigued by elements of the story and mostly entertained so I would recommend it and read other books by her.

See my full review here

Profile Image for iamnotabookworm.
402 reviews16 followers
October 19, 2020
I give this book 4.5/5 dragonfly necklaces.

I finished this last night, or rather early in the morning, past 1 a.m. I just can't seem to put the book down. I had to finish it because I knew that I would not be able to sleep unless I find how the story turned out.

Looking at the title, it doesn't give out any clue as to what the story is about. Though, it may appear that it hints of something paranormal but that's the only thing you can guess out of the title. No other revelations as to what the story would be. Or it could also suggest something profound as the word dream keeper would want to make you believe. A dream keeper may be someone who makes one's dreams come true. Like someone who doesn't give up, no matter the odds. Well, the story actually contains a bit of the two.

From the first chapter until the last, there was no way I was going to let this book go. The first chapter alone had me intrigued and jumping on my seat. I never thought this book would excite me. It seemed so unassuming and subtle but it's not. The paranormal aspect of the story was taking its time to unravel. It made me guessing the whole time what was really going on. And when it was all revealed, I just nodded my head like it was the most natural thing to do. It was done intricately and with so much precision. Perfect timing and all. I was just so caught up in all its mystery and enchantment.

The only small crack I found in the whole incredible tale was Isabel's choice at the end. I think it was so unnatural. I felt like it was not in congruent to the whole flow of the story. I think it was a bit forced. It was possible and in some way, I sort of saw it coming, but still it was disappointing for me. It felt like the author was also undecided on who Isabel should end up with and how she ended up with the choice was not done so flawlessly like the rest of the book.

I give this book 4.5/5 dragonfly necklaces. Aside from the ending which I thought disrupted the whole flawless rendition of the whole tale, everything was perfect. It was a very stupefying experience that I would want to do again and again. A very delicious and magical story. Thank you, Emily Colin, for writing this. Now, I am curious as what her other book, The Memory Thief, would be like. If this is book would be the basis, I'm sure I would be astonished out of my wits.

I think maybe it's like poison. If I let it out, then maybe--maybe it will finally leave me alone.

Sometimes when you love someone, you want so much to keep them safe that you wind up saving them from all the wrong things.
- Emily Colin, The Dream Keeper's Daughter -
August 13, 2017
Reading the blurb for this book, I considered it right up my alley - all the elements I enjoy in a book. There was time travel, bringing in a historical aspect; the mystery of people going missing and family secrets, with the plight of a young woman trying to raise her child. Sounds promising.

Sadly, it did not live up to expectation. There are aspects of the book that are okay, the historical scenes obviously being the most compelling - fascinating to learn more about the slave rebellion in Barbados in the 1800s. The discovery of a broken piece of jewellry at an archaeological dig site in Barbados was clever. But it was about this stage that it all went downhill for me, which was sad, as the research was there:

‘This farce of a bill—put forth by that abolitionist arse Wilberforce in Parliament—requires West Indian planters to register all of our slaves by name to prevent illegal trading in the wake of the Abolition Act.’

It’s hard to really put my finger on it, being there are so many different aspects that I had trouble with, starting with, who exactly is ‘the dream keeper’? Overall it would appear that this book has an identity crisis: the whole supernatural aspect of time travel was never really explained (the dates of Julia and Max never really added up), neither were Finn’s abilities. I don’t wish to be derogatory, so let’s leave it as there were just too many aspects, none of which were resolved in a satisfactory manner, and some in fact, took focus away from the story. For example, the dialogue was at times juvenile and immature, not fitting the character eg. whether they had ‘concealer’ (really!) and a male lead worried about ‘snobbish human beings’. Me thinks not.

I really wanted to like this book but it just seemed all over the place. Big issues never addressed and never really making sense, combined with some amateurish dialogue attempt at humour.

“please listen to me. Don’t do to your daughter what I did to mine. Don’t let the obsession devour you—because believe me, honey, it will if you let it.”
August 29, 2017
It's present day South Carolina and Isabel Griffin is an archeologist as well as as a single mom to her daughter, Finn. Without her best friend, Ryan, and her father's support, she would truly be lost. She can't even rely on her mother as she vanished many years ago. Her former-fiance, Max, is also the father of Finn and very similarly to her mother, he went missing many years ago; at this point, she assumes he is dead. That is until strange things start happening. Finn starts talking about seeing her dad and even Isabel is having strange dreams about him. The dreams are realistic and they are setting her back as she has really built herself a new life as a professor at the College of Charleston and is hoping to move forward. While on a dig in Barbados, she discovers something that simply shouldn't be there and to top it off, there's a strange phone call. This all leads Isabel to wondering if Max is really dead? Could he still be alive? The narrative switches from Max's point of view back to Isabel's, so readers get a full story. The Dream Keeper's Daughter by Emily Colin is an entertaining "historical beach read" that fans of time travel, mysteries, and romance will enjoy.
Read the rest of my review here: http://www.confessionsofabookaddict.c...
86 reviews
April 21, 2017
I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. I really enjoyed most of the book. At first I was not sure about the time traveling theme, but I found myself to be engaged and wanting to find out more. It also appealed to my love of historical fiction. The writing was easy to read until the end which I found to be tougher to get through which was disappointing. I also found the ending to be too formulaic. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and would read this author again.
115 reviews10 followers
August 7, 2017
Based on the description, Emily Colin's The Dream Keeper's Daughter had a lot of the elements that I enjoy in a book. There was a time slip that took me to Barbados in the early 1800s. There was a mystery involving the disappearance of 2 people close to the heroine. There was a woman doing her best to raise her daughter alone and just happened to be an archeologist. Not a bad combination of elements!

It was lost love storyline that the romantic in me couldn't get enough of. His name was Max and he was Isabel's one true love. They were going to spend the rest of their lives together until he walked into the woods and never came back. Life went on and Isabel didn't just cope with her loss, she made a life for herself and her daughter. Imagine Isabel's surprise and confusion when a piece of jewelry belonging to someone else she'd lost is discovered at a dig site she was on in Barbados.

And that is where the book kind of fell apart for me.

There were so many different elements that I couldn't really get invested in them. I would caught up in the time slip, only to have it shift back to the present. I would be getting to know Max more in the past and then go back to the present where Isabel's BFF was secretly in love with her. I really enjoyed the historical part of the book. I learned a lot about Barbados and its history. I enjoyed the characters in that time. I felt more connected to them than any of the present day characters, even Isabel. At the end of the book, I felt like there were so many loose ends that needed to be addressed for me to be satisfied by the ending. I also felt that there were lots of things that didn't need to be in the story at all and actually kind of took away from the ending. I had high hopes for this book, but in the end, I felt like the book didn't quite reach them.

Profile Image for ☘Tara Sheehan☘.
580 reviews19 followers
May 22, 2017
If you liked The Time Traveler’s Wife you’ll like this because the essence is very similar as it uses a time traveling theme to tell a poignant story. Using a dash of historical fiction as an overlay really added a cool dimension which was needed to make up for an ending that didn’t quite meet the level of great writing the author showed in the rest of the book. She uses a lot of detailed description so you feel like you’re right next to the characters watching all of this unfold which helped draw me in.

Emily Colin has an easy pace that lulls you in and keeps your mind wandering through the story as you become more curious by the page as to what she’ll show you next. Until you hit that ending then it’s like your mind got stuck in mud and you’re spinning trying to get through.

I came to a point where I really thought it was done and felt it was a gratified conclusion but then I realized it wasn’t. The last quarter feels like the author had some kind of sex quota for her book and she realized she was ending it without meeting that quota so she crammed every bit of sex, thoughts of sex, about to have sex, etc into those pages between the 3 main characters. It’s a whole lot of fun when you’re dealing with changing perspectives each chapter. When she finally gets done cramming it all in at the end, the story ends as if you’re walking through a forest then without realizing it walk over a cliff – you just don’t see it coming and not in a good way.

I felt conflicted when I finished because I enjoyed most of it but that ending kind of screwed with my “I love this” vibe.
Profile Image for Dottie Legatos.
460 reviews
July 19, 2017
The Dream Keeper’s Daughter, a time travel tale, is told in alternating chapters by the two main characters: Isabel and Max. Eight years after Max’s mysterious disappearance, Isabel, now mother to his child and an archaeologist uncovers strange information about Max and his whereabouts. At about this time, her six year old daughter, Finn, exhibits unusual behaviors, as though she can see into the future…or is it the past?? Max was somehow taken to the year 1816 to his ancestor’s sugar cane plantation on the island of Barbados. Being a history buff, he is aware of a devastating slave uprising that will take place on this island within a few weeks. He’s not sure what his purpose should be. Should he try to get back to his time, or should he somehow aid in this uprising which may has negative consequences for his future.
I was torn as to how to rate and review this book. While I enjoyed both the time travel aspect and the love stories that were involved between the characters, I felt that the story as a whole was a bit drawn out and should have been shorter. I also was surprised by how the author handled the character’s lives at the end. All in all, a solid 3.5 stars. An enjoyable and informative read.
Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jae Mod.
1,716 reviews231 followers
June 13, 2017
***ARC  provided by Author for an honest review***

The Dream Keeper's Daughter by Emily Colin is a captivating fantasy, time travel novel. The details of the past are so outstanding that Ms. Colin has spent a lot of time doing research to have this novel come alive.  

Isabel has had to overcome many obstacles in life. First, her mother disappears, then she finds out she's pregnant with Max, love of her life, but then he winds up missing.  After keeping herself together for her daughter she becomes an archaeologists  and builds a new life for herself. But while on a dig, she comes upon an object that sets off a chain of events. 

Max has fallen through time and landed in 1816 Barbados during the slave upbringing. He has to figure out his place and how to get back home to Isabel and their child.   

Here's the kicker, things always don't end up how you think they will!!!  

I really enjoyed the dual POV along with the dual stories that intertwine and link/merge together to make this story enthralling!  My only hesitation is the ending, it left me wondering and pondering somewhat... but overall a fantastic read.

4 Stars
Profile Image for Mina De Caro (Mina's Bookshelf).
272 reviews70 followers
August 2, 2017
Read my full review on Mina's Bookshelf http://minadecaro.blogspot.com/2017/0...
***An e-copy of the book was graciously provided by the Publicist via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
Truths of the heart revealed through bizarre cosmic conjunctions seem to be a leitmotif in Emily Colin’s books (read my review of The Memory Thief here). Her second foray into the paranormal romance field, The Dream Keeper’s Daughter, echoes themes and plot devices she successfully employed in her debut novel– love and loss, coping with grief, emotional healing, the complex workings of the human heart, the delicate interplay of love and time put to the test by a supernatural phenomenon. What her fans will be delighted to know is that, in her new release, Colin ups her game: the paranormal treatment takes a new exciting direction with the introduction of a brilliant time-travel paradox (a time slip, to be precise), a poignant historical backdrop, and elements derived from the Celtic folklore. The result is an imaginative and highly absorbing read... [Continues http://minadecaro.blogspot.com/2017/0...]
Profile Image for Leigh Kramer.
Author 1 book1,172 followers
August 6, 2017
Kickass lady academic main character? Check. Past-present storylines? Check. Time travel a la Outlander? Check. Lost love? Check. Swoon-worthy bad boy best friend? Check. Character with inexplicably accurate intuition? Check. 

This novel had my name alllll over it.

I raced through the pages, wanting to know more at every turn. The writing was evocative and crackled with energy. I could practically taste what the characters were eating and smell the various environments they inhabited. We primarily get Isabel's perspective in the present, as well as her memories of her relationship with Max leading up to when he disappeared.

We also get Max's perspective in 1816 Barbados. I did not know a slave uprising had occurred there and the depiction of the events leading up to it was done well. The uprising was ultimately unsuccessful and many slaves were killed as a result so Max wants to prevent it from happening, even as he is horrified by the way the slaves are treated. He walks a thin line on both sides as a strange white man, not wanting to arouse suspicion of the white slave owners while understandably not being trusted by the slaves. This leads to so many potentially interesting discussion questions.

My feelings were all over the map with this novel. From the opening pages, I was sure it would be a 5 star book. I inhaled the story. I was fascinated by the mechanics of time travel, in which Max has been gone for 8 years in the present day but he believes he's only been gone 2 weeks. I wanted to know more about their daughter Finn's ability, as either a highly sensitive and intuitive person or someone with ESP. Most of all, I wanted Isabel and Max to be reunited. Of course, I did.

But then I started to see where Colin was taking the story and I did not like this. Not because it was a bad plot choice but my own personal preference. I don't like love triangles and I wanted her best friend Ryan to stay her best friend, not her potential interest. Although let's be clear, I loved Ryan's character. His backstory was heartbreaking and I loved the way he supported Isabel and Finn. His scenes with Finn were incredibly touching. I decided to trust Colin but the novel was hovering at 3 stars in my mind.

I was right to trust the author. Her choices made for an ultimately more interesting story. There was no predictability to be found. Yes, you hope Max and Isabel's mom Julia (who went missing years ago) will make it back to the present but beyond that, Colin is making up her own rules. I wasn't sure I agreed with her choices but they were fresh and unexpected so the novel moved up to 4 stars. I grudgingly accepted the ending. It was not my preference but it made perfect sense for the characters and the story.

In the weeks that have followed, I kept turning the story over in my mind. The way the novel alternated seamlessly between past and present, the history of Barbados, the rich character growth. The bold moves with the plot. It all made for a better book and I couldn't help but respect Colin more for it. Because of all this, the book returned to 5 stars. 

This was an interesting ride, to say the least, and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Disclosure: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jorgy B.
149 reviews
October 13, 2020
I've started this book a few times because I always forget. It sounds sooo good. Unfortunately, it isn't.
Profile Image for Lynn B.
663 reviews17 followers
August 25, 2017
If you've read my review before you will know I love time travel. I have read most of the books out there and so when I came across this one for review I was immediately attracted to it.

As a premise I think the writer has hit on a twist that I haven't come across in time travel novels before, but it took too long to get to it. Once I did get to the part that contained the time travel I read it with relish. I loved every moment of it, the writer transported me back in time and I was fearful for what would become of Max Adair. How would someone from the present day fit in and act in a strange land.

Meanwhile the "Dreamkeeper's daughter" aspect came into play. Was Finn really communicating with her Grandmother and Father or are they just dreams? This aspect of the book and the character of Finn was tauntingly enticing but it never really got fully explored to its full potential.

Once the time travel aspect of the novel came to an end I was surprised that the book carried on for about another 100 pages. Again this was a different take on a storyline - what happens after people who have time travelled come back to the present day? How are things going to pan out for them?

Although I loved the time travel aspect of this book there were too many words to get to it and too many after it when I just wanted to know how it ended. I feel the story could have been told a little more concisely for my liking.

I'm giving this book 3 out of 5 stars. My thanks go to Netgalley for a copy of this book for review.
Profile Image for Michelle Trainor.
135 reviews3 followers
September 14, 2017
This was an engaging and emotional novel. I've always loved books with a time travel theme that have romantic entanglements and family drama. On the day that Isabel told Max, the love of her life that she was pregnant, Max slipped through time to 1816. In Barbados on his ancestral planation Max arrives days before a historical slave rebellion. This novel alternates between Isabel and Max in their respective time periods and is told in first person. Eight years after Max's disappearance, Isabel is on an archeological dig in Barbados when she receives a mysterious phone call with only four words "Isabel, keep her safe." Is it Max? Is Finn in danger? The dual storylines proceed with steady pacing and are linked up with Max and Finn's communication through their dreams. This novel touches on time travel, grief and complicated relationships.
Thank you to net galley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an unbiased review.
Profile Image for Jolie.
1,508 reviews36 followers
August 23, 2017
I wasn’t going to request The Dream Keeper’s Daughter when I saw it on NetGalley. I read the blurb and thought “I’ll wait on this“. But, it kept showing up on my Titles In Your Category section. Then it appeared as a book in one of NetGalley’s emails. I saw a few fellow bloggers that either had it in their TBR pile or had reviewed it. That was when I thought to myself “The universe is telling me to request it.” So I did. I am glad that I did because this book blew my socks off.

The plot of The Dream Keeper’s Daughter is pretty straightforward. Isabel is still reeling from Max’s disappearance 8 years earlier. She has never believed that he would up and leave her. Especially since she had told him that she was pregnant with their daughter, Finn. With no leads and her hope disappearing over the years, she has, for the most part, moved on. She is a successful archeologist professor. She is raising Finn with her father and Ryan. But a phone call, from Max’s cell phone, sends her into a tailspin.

I could see why Isabel was so torn for most of the book. She had all these unresolved feelings for Max. was almost frantic for people to believe her when she said that she had seen him. I know I would have acted the same if I were in her shoes.

The plot with Max was very intriguing. Going back in time to a very turbulent era for Barbados was interesting. It was interesting because he did the ultimate no-no and tried to change history. He told the leaders of the slave rebellion. He told Lily what was going to happen to her if she didn’t believe him and he got thrown out. The way it was written, though, was what reeled me in. I had to keep reading. I had to know if Max and Julia (Isabel’s mother) were able to survive the uprising and make it back home.

I did like Isabel but she drove me up a wall during the book. Her reactions to certain situations came across as almost teenagerish. Like her dealings with Max’s mother. She didn’t like her based on appearance and didn’t bother to talk to her or get to know her. Or her relationship with Ryan. She was using Max’s memory like a security blanket and kept Ryan at arm’s length. I felt bad for the poor guy and if I were him, I would have said “See ya” a long time ago. But, I did like her because she was written as a flawed person.

Max kind of got on my nerves in the beginning. I don’t know exactly what it was about him that made me go “eh” at first.It was that he was so set on trying to change history. But he did grow on me and I did feel bad for him towards the end of the book.

There were two romances in the book and a triangle. The two romances were Max/Isabel and Ryan/Isabel. While the Max/Isabel romance was pretty much out there from the beginning of the book, the Ryan/Isabel romance wasn’t. There was one point, before the dollhouse scene, where I was wondering if it was all in my head. But then the dollhouse scene happened and I was like “Yeah baby“.

The love triangle, which happened after Julia and Max came home, was between Max/Isabel/Ryan. I won’t say who she chooses but let’s say that it was a very hard decision. The author did a wonderful job keeping me on my toes about who Isabel would end up with.

There were two different types of sex in this book. There was the slow, feeling infused sex and there was the hard, fast sex. I loved seeing both because it showed the different partners in a different light.

I didn’t have a complaint about this book. All the plotlines were wrapped up in a very satisfactory way. There were no plotlines left hanging or characters unaccounted for.

The end of the book was very bittersweet. While happy in a way, it didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. I am not complaining because sometimes happy endings aren’t always what you think.

My Summary of The Dream Keeper’s Daughter: 4 stars

The Dream Keeper’s Daughter is a fast paced, romance that definitely kept me turning the pages. The plot was fantastic and the characters were memorable. A great read.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Violence, sex, and language. There is a very brutal scene where a slave is tied from a tree and whipped.

I would like to thank Ballantine Books, Random House, NetGalley and Emily Colin for allowing me to read/review The Dream Keeper’s Daughter

All opinions expressed in this review of The Dream Keeper’s Daughter are mine and mine alone.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**
Profile Image for OpenBookSociety.com .
3,832 reviews116 followers
July 30, 2017

The Dream Keeper’s Daughter
By Emily Colin
ISBN# 9781101884317
Author Website: https://www.emilycolin.com/
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele


Eight years after the unsolved disappearance of her boyfriend Max Adair, archaeologist Isabel Griffin has managed to move on and rebuild her life with her young daughter, Finn, her last tie to Max. But after a series of strange incidents, Isabel begins to wonder if Max might still be alive somewhere, trying to communicate with her. She has no idea that the where isn’t the problem—it’s the when. Max has slipped through time and place, landing on his ancestral family plantation in 1816 Barbados, on the eve of a historic slave uprising. As Isabel searches for answers, Max must figure out not only how to survive the violence to come, but how to get back to his own century, the woman he loves, and the daughter he has only ever met in his dreams. (Goodreads)


The Dream Keeper’s Daughter should have been a lush, evocative novel full of mystery, history, a love story, and time travel. Unfortunately, it comes across as a tale suffering from an identity crisis.

I was drawn in from the very beginning. A woman claims to have gotten over the loss of her first love only to hear from him eight years later. Is Isabel going crazy? If not, what was Max trying to tell her in his garbled phone call? Sounds like women’s lit, right? There is mystery surrounding both the disappearance of Isabel’s mother fourteen years ago and then Max’s disappearance, too. Did he run away at the prospect of real adult responsibility? Did he meet with foul play? Did he slip through a “thin place” that connects the past with the present? Why, yes, it appears that he did slip through time and finds himself in Barbados on the eve of the 1816 slave rebellion. Great – historical fiction with some fantasy time travel thrown in. I’m game. But wait, we cannot forget about Isabel’s long suffering best friend Ryan who decides that now, years into their friendship, to express his true feelings. Romance and a bad one at that.

Truthfully, about two thirds of the book is fine. I think the historical scenes are the most compelling. Some of the passages are downright beautifully written. Unraveling all of the bits of past and present, not knowing what might happen next, is the best part of the book. Max’s struggle to figure out his place in the past and the possible ramifications of his actions to the present are thought provoking. But, then, there is the remainder of the book. I felt a little like I was looking at a car crash, wanting to look away but unable to. I kept thinking that everything was going to work out in the end…but it did not. I do not understand why Colin chose to take the characters down a certain path. This ending left me asking myself “what is the point of what I just read? Why did I bother?”

I never found myself invested in any of the characters. I really did not like Isabel much. I understand that she had to overcome great loss, and her experiences do make her an independent woman, but there is an aura of “oh, poor me” about her. At times the characters read like a case study in dysfunction. Max is palatable. The shining morsel of the tale is Isabel and Max’s seven year old daughter Finn, but even she has some strange things going on with her.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend The Dream Keeper’s Daughter.
Profile Image for Kelly (Wild and Wonderful Reads).
262 reviews38 followers
August 11, 2017
***Full review on wildandwonderfulreads.com***

The Dream Keeper’s Daughter combined time travel, history, and romance for a moving and bittersweet fantasy story that sucked me in from the very beginning. Emily Colin, New York Times bestselling author of “The Memory Thief,” has a skill in formulating a compelling narrative.

I loved the idea behind this book! I enjoy books with a love story. I am also a huge history buff. Throw in the time slip element, and I was sold. This story traversed from present day South Carolina to 19th century Barbados, as told through a multi-person point of view; more specifically, the alternating POV of Isabel and Max. The changing POV helped fill out the story and gave the reader a comprehensive look at the events taking place. I happened to be partial to Max’s chapters!

Colin had a very captivating writing style. She wrote fluently and emphatically. There were only a few times that I found myself “coaching” the characters to spit it out or do something already, and those instances mostly pertained to the romantic story line.

Between the writing style, the shift in perspectives, and the twists and turns in the plot, I was compelled to continue reading to see where the story would lead. The history was well-researched and represented in this text. Those were probably my favorite scenes! Once the concept of the time slip was clear (it took a while to get to that, though), I had that “AH HA!” moment, and more pieces to the puzzle of The Dream Keeper’s Daughter snapped into place. I really liked what Colin did with the time travel. However, the romantic aspect of the story led me to frustration.

So, we’ve got Isabel (single mom with a tough girl exterior who has experienced loss), Max (Isabel’s first love interest and father to her little girl), and Ryan (Isabel’s best friend who experienced his own hardships but was there when Isabel needed it most). One day, Max disappeared and was away from his home and family for several years. In walks Ryan, after Max’s disappearance, to befriend a struggling Isabel. As one might assume, Isabel and Ryan’s friendship evolved while Max was thought to be missing and Isabel was trying to move forward with her life.

Honestly, I kept finding myself rooting for both of the guys at various times, only to be disappointed with the outcome in the end. All three characters were hot then cold, and all of their relationships (and personalities, really) seemed a bit like a roller coaster. Be forewarned that there are some steamy scenes throughout the book. There were some positives with the love story, but for the most part, I just struggled with it. This, as well as the direction the end took, were the reasons I lowered my review rating.

A bright note of this book was Isabel and Max’s daughter, Finn. I just loved her! I don’t want to go into much detail, though, because 1) you should discover her all on your own, and 2) spoilers!

There is a lot that goes on in The Dream Keeper’s Daughter, but it is mysterious and clever, so I recommend it! A book like this makes me weary to say much more because I don’t want to give anything away. Trust me when I say, though, that it is intriguing and I devoured it. When I first read about this book, I figured I might like it, but I had not read anything else by Colin, and I had not heard of this book. I was pleasantly surprised by it and very glad that I read it. I look forward to reading more from Emily Colin.
Profile Image for Perrin.
Author 6 books1 follower
August 18, 2017
3.5 Stars

So many ways that I enjoyed this story: the history of events in Barbados and how the author tied them in to modern-day people, the main character's strengths and flaws, the darling daughter who is wiser than all the adults combined, and the idea of places on earth where it's possible to slip into other times/dimensions. The parts of the book that took place in the 1800s, although the most uncomfortable to read for obvious reasons, felt the most genuine and kept me pulled in as I rooted for the characters to both help and find a way back home.

What I didn't enjoy: as many others have said ... the ending. But I didn't like it for a different reason than most. I actually thought it was the best ending for what Isabel had been through. What I didn't like was her blaming Max for something he had no control over, and her self-righteous anger over something that happened to him, not a decision he made, and that just pissed me off.

The fact that Isabel had so many supernatural experiences and then wanted to chalk them ALL up to something else--hysteria, insanity, dreams--also got under my skin. She was a strong person, yet sought validation from everyone else when it came to the unexplained, which made her weak in my eyes. She couldn't trust herself enough to accept? She also knew her daughter had unexplained experiences and accepted them, then turned around and became angry with her? Inconsistent. I get it, Isabel is a scientist. But I'm also a scientist who's experienced many supernatural phenomena. It got to one point in the story, I wanted to slap her. That's when she lost my sympathy and respect.

And there was no explanation for the time-slip differences: here, dear reader, accept it at face value and move along.

The descriptions were beautiful and put me in the story alongside the characters, which I loved the most. Overall, I enjoyed the book and look forward to the next one by this author.
Profile Image for Candy .
626 reviews44 followers
July 25, 2017
Originally published on Lovey Dovey Books

With a tragic history and romance that spans hundreds of years, The Dream Keeper's Daughter is the story you wish The Memory Thief had been, but all on its own a masterpiece. Emily Colin has outdone herself in this masterful tale that will bring tears and smiles.

It's a story that begins with tragedy and works its way around to an ending that will leave you breathless and spinning. I never thought that I would get over how heartbroken and simultaneously wonderful The Memory Thief made me feel. That is until I had the opportunity to get my hands on this latest gem.

Isabel Griffin never let go of her first and only love, Max. She thought she safely locked him away while she focused on raising their daughter, Finn, until she receives a strange phone call while on an archeological dig in Barbados. His disappearance is similar to that of her mother's years before. There's not a trace of where they went and everyone has given up hope. In reality, though, Max has been transported from his familiar South Carolina woods to 1816 Barbados. He believes it's his chance to right his family's wrongs while saving the mother of the woman he loves.

Emily Colin crafted this novel with such care that it's still hard to believe this is only her second. It's rich in understanding of her characters whether in the modern world, or historical. While Isabel and Max share the spotlight in this story, the secondary characters play important roles in adding to the emotional drama and suspense of the novel. My eyes gobbled up the words trying to figure out how all their paths would twist and turn and I fully admit to being on pins and needles until the end. My heart raced with anxiety as I hoped for a happy ending. Though the ending I wanted didn't transpire, it far exceeded my expectations!

Written with a similar emotional pull to The Memory Thief, I have no doubt that The Dream Keeper's Daughter will strike readers in the same way, if not deeper. It's rich with the history of a faraway island that will draw many in from sheer curiosity. Whatever draws you into this novel, don't miss this incredible read!
*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Tina.
158 reviews2 followers
July 20, 2017
What would you do if your best friend/boyfriend walked away from you and disappeared? How would you react? What if you were a senior in college and pregnant? Would you fall apart or hitch up your pants, trudge on and make a life for yourself and your child? What if your mother had disappeared in the same way seven years earlier?

This is exactly what happens in “The Dream Keeper's Daughter” by Emily Colin. It is the tale of two young lovers and how the disappearance of Max, Isabel’s boyfriend, affected her life and the life of her child.

I liked the way the author switched from Max and Isabel’s point of view for different chapters. I especially enjoyed reading Max’s chapters after he followed his six-times-over grandfather through the woods and back to Barbados in 1816 just before a slave rebellion.

I was a bit disappointed by the two sex scenes and some of the language toward the end of the book. A bit gratuitous. The bickering back and forth between Isabel and Ryan also got on my nerves. I wanted to scream at them, “just walk away and let each other go!”

The author does tackle some tricky subjects: slavery, kidnapping, etc. I would have liked to read more about Finn and her abilities. It was a good book, but not great.

Release Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Genre: Time travel, romance, suspense
Cover: Meh. I am assuming the young girl on the cover is Finn. In the book, she has black hair whereas the girl on the cover is blonde.
Source: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to read this great book!
Rating: 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Jennifer.
940 reviews29 followers
June 8, 2017
I loved The Memory Thief and was excited to read this book.

Isabel's mother disappeared when she was a teenager and then eight years later her boyfriend Max also disappears. When Max disappeared, Isabel had just told him she was pregnant. Fast forward almost eight years, when Isabel is on a dig site in Barbados and gets a phone call from Max and then she finds the necklace her mom was wearing when she disappeared.

The book alternates between Max and Isabel. At first I loved the book and would have given it a four. From the start I never cared for Isabel's best friend Ryan. I even liked Isabel, but all that changed when Max and Julia show up. Throughout the whole book all Isabel wanted was to see Max again. She didn't even seem happy to see her mother. The whole time Max was trapped in the past all he could think of was Isabel and when he shows up she blames him for abandoning her. I couldn't believe she would let Ryan make the decision whether Max should be allowed to take his daughter on a trip for a month. I also couldn't believe Isabel would even consider moving away.

For the most part I loved the book it was just the ending that changed my mind and the characters. I loved reading about Barbados and the slave rebellion. I loved the story and the writing style. I do recommend this book because it was mostly a wonderful read and look forward to reading more books by the author.

Thanks to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and the author, Emily Colin, for a free electronic ARC of this novel.
Profile Image for Karen.
333 reviews
June 28, 2017
The Dream Keeper's Daughter is a book written by Emily Colin. This is the first book that I have read by this author, but it definitely won't be my last!

Isabel Griffin is an archeologist trying to move on with her life after the unexplained disappearance of her boyfriend, Max Adair. However, lately some strange things have been happening which makes Isabel wonder if Max is still alive.

Max Adair has managed to something unimaginable...he has somehow ended up on his ancestral plantation in Barbados in the year 1816...on the night before a violent slave uprising. Not only does he have to figure out how to survive what's to come, he also needs to find a way back to the love of his life and also Finn, the daughter he has never met.

The story that unfolds is interesting and has potential to be an amazing story. The first half of the book was great, but I was caught off guard with the turn during the second half. That's not to say I didn't enjoy the book...because I did, but there were some things I didn't agree with. In some ways I just felt the author missed the mark on a few things. I felt that Finn was underutilized through the story, especially considering she was such an important part of the storyline. With that being said, I guess things don't always end up the way we hope they will.

I received an advance copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My views are my own and are in no way influenced by anyone else.
Profile Image for Jo.
514 reviews9 followers
July 16, 2017
I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. It was just okay. The book goes back and forth between Max in 1816 Barbados just before the slave rebellion and present day Isabel. I didn't care for Isabel all that much. She had a biiig chip on her shoulder over her mother's and Max's "abandonment." She claimed that this made her strong, but in reality it also made her angry and resentful, even more after they returned. Then when Max returned, she took out her resentment on him and never gave him a chance. You'd have thought someone in the sciences would be logical but noo. She willfully refused to acknowledge that he went to look for HER mother. who she also did not really forgive. Plus, in his absence she used Thomas, was it? as Finn's replacement father. Only a moron wouldn't have realized that he was in love with her, after eight years of him mooning after her. I saw her as a person who simply refused to see facts that were inconvenient for her. So yeah, didn't like her much.

I never did figure out where the title came from. Logically, it refers to the heroine's mother, Julia, but she didn't play that big a role in the book, and I don't recall the phrase even being mentioned. Usually I notice it somewhere along the way, but in this case it must have been pretty obscure.

This was a tough one to rate. In the end, I gave it 3 stars because the writing was above average and I learned some things about the rebellion.

*ARC via netgalley*
Profile Image for Susan (The Book Bag).
806 reviews69 followers
August 20, 2017
The Dream Keeper's Daughter is a captivating story that crosses so many different genres types. There is something for everyone here: time travel, historical fiction, women's fiction, and a bit of romance. I have to admit that I felt a little daunted by this book after seeing the number of pages. It is usually more than I tackle but once I read the first few pages, I was totally hooked.

I have always been intrigued by the idea of time travel and this author does a wonderful job making it work. I was kept guessing as to how it would all come together. Would Max be able to get back to his loved ones? And how would what he did in the past, affect those in the future.

Max lands in an extremely tough time, when men and women are being slaved and beaten. It was so hard for him to witness the pain and suffering that humans caused other humans. It really is hard for me to comprehend too.

I am always amazed at the amount of research that an author does when writing their books. For one, they have to get the history part right. And then, especially in the case of time traveling, they have to make sure all the pieces end up fitting together.

The Dream Keeper's Daughter really is an amazing story. I was totally engrossed in both the past and the present storylines. It was wonderful to see how the stories came together in the end.
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