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In an Absent Dream

(Wayward Children #4)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  16,392 ratings  ·  3,483 reviews
This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she's found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at th
Kindle Edition, 187 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by
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Bailey I would recommend at least reading the first one to kind of get a rip on what the world and dynamics are like. Then from there you can go to any story…moreI would recommend at least reading the first one to kind of get a rip on what the world and dynamics are like. Then from there you can go to any story you like. (less)
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) It's like a mobile phone; sometimes you buy one that's locked into a certain company and can only be used with their card/contract, other phones are "…moreIt's like a mobile phone; sometimes you buy one that's locked into a certain company and can only be used with their card/contract, other phones are "free" and can be used with any card as long as the battery's charged. Without DRM means the book can be read on any device.(less)

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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,392 ratings  ·  3,483 reviews

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Emily May
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“What’s the Goblin Market?”
“It is a place where dreamers go when they don’t fit in with the dreams their homes think worth dreaming. Doors lead here. Perhaps you found one.”

When I read Every Heart a Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, and Beneath the Sugar Sky, I thought I knew what it was to fall completely, utterly, in love with fairy tales. I knew nothing.

This is my favourite book yet in this gorgeous series. If I could rate it higher, I would. It's a beautiful, evocative fairy tale

ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.

1.) Every Heart a Doorway ★★★★★
2.) Down Among the Sticks and Bones ★★★★★
3.) Beneath the Sugar Sky ★★★★

“Death wasn’t fair value for anything…”

In An Absent Dream stars Katherine Lundy, the therapist who leads the group sessions in Every Heart a Doorway. She is Eleanor’s second in command, and claims to be eighty-years-old, despite only looking around eight. And this is her story, about her time in her world, the goblin market. And
Lala BooksandLala
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolute magic.
Elena May
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
After Beneath the Sugar Sky I was afraid the series had run its course and the new books would have nothing left to say. I was pleasantly surprised to see a fresh new story that rekindled my love for these books.

The main themes are still the same: children who cannot fit into their world because of parental neglect or other problems discover portal worlds where they feel at home. But unlike Down Among the Sticks and Bones, here the protagonist comes from a loving family, who at least tries to gi
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-releases
Wasn't planning on reading it.... yet here we are!

This was probably my favorite story/world to explore in this series.

I've read a few of McGuire's books (6?) and in all of them I've felt like "something" was missing.

They're very atmospheric, the writing is beautiful and the world building is interesting but the stories always feel a bit empty. For example, in this one you totally get a fairytale but better feel but every time any action would happen we fast forward to after the events have unfo
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing

link here:

The Lundy who had stepped through the door for her second visit to the Goblin Market would barely have recognized the one who came stumbling through it for her second return to the world of her birth. This Lundy was thin, her arms and legs wiry with new muscle, rendered lean by physical labor an
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Re-read 1/3/20: Excuse me while I continue to lay in bed crying for the rest of the night

Original read 2/19/19: Excuse me while I lay in bed crying for the rest of the night 😭😭
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
4.8/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“If you want to help her, you need to help yourself first. No one serves their friends by grinding themselves into dust on the altar of compassion.”

YES YES YES! THIS WAS INCREDIBLE AND MY FAVOURITE ONE OF THE FIVE! This book was so so so good! I just can't describe it, I'm so so glad I kept going with this series despite not really liking the first book. Holy shit man. I know Lundy for 200 pages and I would do everything for her. Her story impacted me so much and I sympathi
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Rule One : Ask for nothing
Rule Two : Names have power
Rule Three : Always give fair value

Be Sure.

Welcome to the Goblin Market
Elle (TheBookishActress)
In An Absent Dream is a story about a girl who does not fit exactly what a girl should be, who would rather dream than be a perfect girl. In this book, we follow her journey through the Goblin Market, where there are only three rules: Ask for nothing. Names have power. Always give fair value.

It is this final rule that becomes the undoing of so many characters.
To be a child is to be a visitor from another world muddling your way through the strange rules of this one, where up is always up, ev

I basically only want to read magical realism about strong bookish girls going on adventures and exploring unapologetically.

I could do without the bittersweet endings that make my heart hurt, but I get the appeal.

Even though this series is, on paper, perfect for me (magic and murder and Candyland and books and mystery and rabbit-holes and all of it in a world where Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is real, and also all of t
Caz (littlebookowl)
Rating: 3.5 stars

Probably my least favourite so far, but this was also the first one I listened to on audio so perhaps that influenced my enjoyment in some way.

I was SO intrigued by the Goblin Market. Loved the concept. My main issue was that I felt like all of the exciting things Lundy did and experienced happened behind the scenes. I understand that not everything could have been included in this as a novella, but so many of her adventures were mentioned in passing after jumping forward in tim
Melissa Buehner
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore a good fairy tale.

I always have. I probably always will.

Fairy tales bring me back to my childhood. They fill me with such wonder. Such magic.

As does Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series.

In an Absent Dream is the fourth installment in McGuire's series of short novellas -- and it is definitely my most favorite so far. I wish I could give it more than five stars; I love it so much.

This time, McGuire rewinds and tells the story of Lundy, who as a young, serious, and logical girl, has
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

God, I just keep letting these books break my heart.
Lily ☁️
3 1/2 stars

It would almost feel too cliché to use the title of a book to describe it, but in this case, it’s too fitting, too accurate, it too perfectly captures its essence, so as not to.

“Rule 1: Ask for nothing
Rule 2: Names have power
Rule 3: Always give fair value”

In an Absent Dream takes you on a journey to a whole new world that is curious, and whimsical, and leaves you feeling like you woke up from from a deep slumber with a wondrous tale faintly imprinted in the back of your mind—it
Nilufer Ozmekik
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Four enchanting, dreamy, fairly valued stars!

The door leads little Katherine to the world called Goblin Market where you go when you don’t fit in with the dreams your homes think worth dreaming.

Bookworm, introvert and smart Katherine realizes she does not fit in her own world, living friendless, restricted by her father’s overprotective walls, hold onto her books to breathe and exist.

Finally she sees, there are other worlds for the people who are sure enough to take risks and start their journ
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“You forgot that sometimes, fair value comes from change, and death, and sacrifice. You can’t have everything and give fair value.”

Sometimes you can’t help but feel that you don’t belong in the world you were born into. Too much may be expected of you, or too little, or everything is just a bit of wrong and you don’t even realize it until you get a glimpse of the world where those subtle wrongs are replaced with undeniable sense of rightness. So what do you do? You’d like to think you’d aban
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“Enjoy yourself. There are many good things in the world, and each of them happens for the first time only once, and never again.”

🌟 This is the 4th Novella in the Wayward Children series and it is still getting better. I think this is the one that spoke to me most and I will mention why later.

🌟 I am so picky when it comes to books and I try to choose books that I am sure I will like. That is one of the reasons that
Tan Markovic
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: completed-series
By far my favourite in this series.

Absolute magic ✨✨✨✨✨
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
#1 Every Heart a Doorway ★★★★★
#2 Down Among the Sticks and Bones ★★★★★
#3 Beneath the Sugar Sky ★★★★★
#4 In An Absent Dream ★★★★★
#5 Come Tumbling Down ★★★★★
#6 Across the Green Grass Fields ★★★★★

When a very serious little girl finds a magical door in the woods, she decides to leave behind a life of loneliness to go off in search of adventure, never expecting to find a mystical Market on the other side—where anything can happen, as long as you pay your debts.

If you know me, you already know that Sea
Re-Read 1/5/20:

I admit that I like this one the best out of all the Wayward Children books. Yes, Lundry is staff, but before she was staff, she was also a child.

A child I see a lot of myself in.

I mean, BOOKS! Fairness! It's all right there in a nutshell! *sigh* But I still think it's the best and maybe the most tragic out of the lot.

Even if it's only my opinion. :)

Original Review:

These Wayward children are all pretty damn awesome.

It's not hard to love a land built on your heart's wishes, a heav
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Emailed publicist asking for an ARC.

*no answer*

Requested book on NetGalley.

*crickets chirping*

Gets brand new copy from the library today.


*immerses self in book; emerges three hours later after reading the whole book in one sitting*

Amazing. Stunning. Beautiful. Heartbreaking.

I loved it.

Full review to come.
may ❀
In an Absent Dream is so beautifully heartbreaking.

it's the tale of a girl who loves rules and logic and reason and loopholes. she loves books and reading and knowledge and dreaming and this world just can't offer that with its very strict ideas of what a little girl should be

and then she finds the goblin market and little lundy feels like she's reached home

seanan mcguire gets me EVERYTIME with her incredibly atmospheric writing, descriptions, and the whimsical worlds she builds from nothing

Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
[4.5 ⭐️]
This book was a dream to listen to.

[Completed my Herbology exams for the OWLs Magical Readathon. 🧙🏼‍♀️✨]
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely my favourite volume so far of this enchanting series.

We follow Katherine Lundy, a girl of (at first) 8 years of age, and experience how the little bookworm doesn’t have any friends anymore because her father is her school’s principal. She’s fine though since she has fictional worlds to escape into. Sounds familiar? Exactly!
One day, as with all the wayward children, a door opens. In Katherine’s case, it’s the door to a world full of her beloved rules. The world is called the Go
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**3.5-stars rounded up**

Not going to lie, this sort of crushed my heart a little bit.

I found Lundy's story to be so sad, y'all. It truly hit me right in the heart. The choices she had to make. It seemed like a lot for such a young girl.

The idea of childhood innocence and optimism being dashed on the rocks of reality, it was tough to read. Also, I found Lundy's serious side and her rebelliousness against the parameters society wanted to place on her, so relatable.

Ultimately, that feeling of, you
April (Aprilius Maximus)
1.) Every Heart A Doorway ★★★★
2.) Down Among The Sticks and Bones ★★★★.5
3.) Beneath The Sugar Sky ★★★★.5
4.) In An Absent Dream ★★★.5
5.) Come Tumbling Down ★★★★


Definitely my least favourite in the series so far :(
✨    jamieson   ✨
Feb 25, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: anticipated-2019




May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Door GIF - Door GIFs

I absolutely loved this latest book in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series! The world she creates for our protagonist Katherine Lundy is brilliant! A girl who loves fairness and following rules, Lundy goes through a door to the Goblin Market, a world in which "fair value" is the law of the land. Here, everyone must contribute and everyone must play fair, bartering for what you want and need. Debts are incurred that must be paid back when one doesn't apply fair value for what one takes. Logi
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I had forgotten about this series for a while but picking it up again at #4 was easy and I was straight back into the story.

In an Absent Dream is actually the backstory of Katherine Lundy and we discover how she ended up the way she appears in Every Heart a Doorway. There are many doorways open to Lundy as she tries to navigate an unhappy childhood in her own world at the same time as being offered am alternative in the form of the exciting Goblin Market.

I enjoyed the way the book was written in
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Hi! I'm Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (, author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and

Other books in the series

Wayward Children (6 books)
  • Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)
  • Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5)
  • Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6)

Articles featuring this book

There's nothing like the pain of finishing a book with a cliffhanger…and needing to wait months (if not years) for the next book. Sav...
87 likes · 63 comments
“If you want to help her, you need to help yourself first. No one serves their friends by grinding themselves into dust on the altar of compassion.” 62 likes
“Enjoy yourself. There are many good things in the world, and each of them happens for the first time only once, and never again.” 39 likes
More quotes…