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The Book of Dreams

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,951 ratings  ·  484 reviews
The next novel from Nina George, author of the blockbuster bestsellers The Little Paris Bookshop and The Little French Bistro , about the spaces between lives and realities and loves both lost and coming home

When Henri ends up in a coma after rescuing a young girl from the Thames, his ex-girlfriend, Eddie, discovers that she is listed as Henri's next-of-kin in his
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Crown (first published March 17th 2016)
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,951 ratings  ·  484 reviews

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Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whilst The Book of Dreams by Nina George is not perfect, there is nevertheless much to love about this profoundly moving novel about what it is to be human and just how much momentous decisions define the life path for a person. In this complex and complicated book of family drama, relationships and human emotions, ex-war reporter, Henry Skinner, is on his way to meet his estranged teenage son, Sam, when he finds himself saving the life of a young girl in the River Thames. Unfortunately the most ...more
Larry H
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Powerful, moving, and poetic, Nina George's newest novel, The Book of Dreams , is absolutely exquisite. It's so different from other books I've read recently, and it is one I won't soon forget.

"Maybe we're all stories that someone is reading, and maybe that will save us before we ultimately expire?"

Henri Skinner was once a renowned war reporter whose eyes have seen first-hand the horrors of our world. Shaped by tragedy at an early age, he is a passionate person, one prone to acting before he th
Kylie D
A beautifully written book, richly metaphorical, about hovering in the space between life and death. It follows Henri, in a coma after an accident, and how he tries to interact with his loved ones and they in turn with him. Poignant and profound, we explore the feelings of loss, hope and grief, all at once.

Yet, even though I can appreciate the beauty of this book, it really wasn't for me.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Katie B
I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I picked up this book, and I mean that in the best possible way. This is the type of book I will be thinking about for awhile. I think the author really took a chance with this one and maybe it won't be for everyone, but I'm pretty darn glad I read it.

The story in some ways is a bit tricky to explain without getting into spoiler territory so I'm gonna keep it brief and simple. The less you know is probably best in this case. Henri Skinner is set
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
The Book of Dreams surprised me in the best of ways. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I’m a fan of Nina George’s Little Paris Bookshop, and I noticed right away that her trademark warmth imbued on every page of The Book of Dreams.

Henri Skinner, one of our main characters, is a former war reporter. He’s rough around the edges, and the war has shaped him. He’s going to visit his son, Sam, who he doesn’t really know.

While literally on his way to see his son, he is injured and rushed to the hospital. While there, he is co
4.5 Stars

”Maybe our lives are nothing but stories that are being read by other people.”

Henri Skinner, a man who was once-upon-a-time a war reporter, has just jumped off the Hammersmith Bridge as this story begins, desperate to save the life of a young girl who had fallen overboard.

”The river is dragging her along. It wants to own her.”

But Henri wins this time. It is only after he is on land, carrying this girl to safety that he begins to worry about being late to get to the school where his
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A heart-tugging story of devotion and hope. Nina George has created beautiful characters and compelling relational dynamics. I especially loved Sam, an extraordinary boy who is astute beyond his years. I wanted to give him a giant bear hug and make his dreams come true.

George excelled at putting her thoughts to paper, especially as they relate to Sam’s journey to find peace and love and Henri’s alternating states of awareness as he remained trapped between two worlds. A profound and thought-prov
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, favorites
OMG! I absolutely LOVED this book! The Book of Dreams is a story to be savored and for me, to read again and again. It is charming, endearing, fascinating, thought-provoking, and ingenious. I felt a range of emotions while reading this book including happy, hopeful, surprised and sad. The Book of Dreams is a compelling story that I could not put down. An added bonus for me is that the writing is beautiful the imagery is divine. George is a master at the effective use of metaphors and similes.

Susan Kennedy
This was not a bad book. For me there were just parts of it that took a bit of pushing myself through it, which made reading it difficult to get through at times. The premise of the story was interesting and different than I've read, so it wasn't terrible. The characters where likable and unique. They were a bit strange at times or maybe it was the story that was strange at times or maybe it was the relationships that were strange, I'm just not sure.

I knew what would happen in the end, but it wa
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Nina George's books. They are perfection. I bought them all in hardcover (after already having the paperback). Perfection.
interesting novel about coma patients and people around them and what they dream about whilst in a coma. enjoyed on the whole the book with its covering several layers and times .
Apr 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The story eventually captured my attention, but if I’m being honest... I was hoping for a different conclusion.
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Book of Dreams is a fascinating read that grabs the reader tightly and demands attention. The unique narrative is written in the first person from each of the main characters' point of view, thus the reader is able experience the story from multiple angles. Nina George effectively explores the depths of human relationships, and looks intently at both the good side and the bad. Ultimately this is a story of redemption, and each characters journey to find it is heartbreaking, yet inspiring. Th ...more
Nina George admits that she has always been afraid of death - her own and that of those close to her that she loves.

"... existential questions about death have colored my last three novels, The Little Paris Bookshop, The Little Breton Bistro, and The Book of Dreams . To produce these books, which address issues of being and no-longer-being, have no happy endings, and are therefore not very “market friendly,” I needed book people who were willing to tread this kind of literary path with me."

Theresa Smith
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Book of Dreams was published in Germany four years ago, but is only now being released as an English translation. In the April edition of Good Reading magazine, Nina George talks about her own experiences with the rare neurological condition of synaesthesia. After writing nearly 30 books under five different pen names, The Book of Dreams is the first time she’s written about the condition. I have to say, reading that Nina herself is a synesthete really added a layer of credibility to this no ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will not be summarizing this story. Instead, I will be reviewing my likes and dislikes. I feel the summary for the story that is provided by the publishers is accurate.

The premise for this book is a challenging but rewarding experience.
It is difficult to predict the story, characters decisions, and the ending due to the natural unknown elements in life that the author attempts to tackle. The topics of dreams, life, death, after-life, and those in between are poetically posed and philosophicall
Jane Woods
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written story with unforgettable characters navigating through the many questions that connect us to our world and each other. Having lived through most of the experiences in this story I felt that Ms. George does indeed understand the struggle we all face in being human. A Must Read.

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this incredible story!
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Started out great, slogged through the middle, and the ending was so very disappointing. After sticking with the characters for that long the choices made by Henri in the end made no sense. What a let down.

There is a great tone to the start of the book and I think the author had a good concept but ultimately this book just let me down.

My copy was provided by NetGalley for review.
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, uplifting, sad & thought provoking. I couldn’t put this book down until the bittersweet end.
Jess Clayton
The Book of Dreams is a tough read, y'all. The subject matter within it challenged me to the highest degree. I wasn't prepared. This type of book, full of speculation, is not what I enjoy reading; it's too much work. I still don't know if I fully "got it" but I feel like I got the gist. It deals with consciousness and whether we can communicate with each other in each other's dreams, in a kind of an alternate connection. By that I mean, communicating with someone while in a coma. I wasn't exactl ...more
Have you ever watched a comedy where so many jokes are made that some of them are bound to make you laugh? The sheer volume of gags ensures that you're constantly tickled, even if most of the jokes fail. Turn that comedy into a book, trade out the humor for attempts at poetic beauty, and you've got Nina George's The Book of Dreams. Part metaphysical romance, part coming-of-age tale, The Book of Dreams is cluttered with imagery. Whatever ease and elegance it otherwise possesses, George's meanderi ...more
Lesley Moseley
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
maybe even 4 1/2 stars. After my sister's suicide, I either had some of these experiences or they were really hallucinations. No matter, they were powerful experiences. Never have I read such an intelligent process of describing this phase of grief and fear.

Might sounds depressing, but handled so sensitively, it was really a joy to read.
This book really meant a lot to me, it is powerful and poetic, a science fiction, a literature dream of the afterlife, time dimensions, rips in space and time, grief, fathers and sons and their bond, of life and living it, and of the power of love.

If you've read Nina George's other two books, "The Little Paris Bookshop" and "Little French Bistro", you know that her books are of a romance language that's been lost to time. Her novels are explorations of the human emotion to love and this being he
Ashwini Abhyankar
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started reading The Book of Dreams, I did have a rough idea of course but beyond that I wasn’t quite sure whether I will like it or not. I was really intrigued by the synopsis and I am glad that it did turn out to be quite a good book. It might not top my favourites list but it could have become a strong contender.

This was my first time reading Nina George and I was so pleasantly surprised by the writing. There’s the relationships between the characte
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book captivated me right from the beginning. It is a tough subject; what happens to us when we die; is there life after death, is there an alternative reality, or parallel worlds that happen along side the one we live in? Subjects that have always grabbed my attention and made me think hard about how little we know of truth and reality.

Henri is a war correspondent. His 13 year-old son Sam is a synesthete and has an IQ of 144. Sam sent Henry a note and asked to meet him for an event at his s
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Book of Dreams shepherds with an enigmatic touch, gently coaxing its colourful personalities out of the darkest places and back toward the light. It patrols the border of life and death, dipping its toe into a sea of unknowns where the divided unite to save themselves, and perhaps each other.

The main stage for this story is an intensive care ward, ‘home’ to a cerebrally-animated coma patient whose unconscious reveries are unexpectedly uplifting.

Providing support to the outwardly lifeless Hen
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I'm not going to be able to do this book justice with my humble review. It was a slow start for me, but once I was hooked, I read it slowly. I felt like it was such a beautiful story that it should be savored, and although it hit a lot of buttons for me -- as a sister who lost her brother after a brain injury, and as a mother of a 13 year old boy -- I really loved it. I really connected with the characters, their hopes, their grief and their dreams. Side note: I don't normally rememb ...more
*thank you to Simon & Schuster (Australia) for an ARC of this book*

4 stars.

Wow. This book can be described in one word and I know im not the first to say it, but I whole heartily agree with it and that word is beautiful!

This was written so well it was just beautiful to read. Its a story you feel, along with the characters, you feel what they say and go through. Not knowing where the next step would take you but going along with it quietly while you listen to whats being said. Sometimes smili
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-to-read
True Rating: 4.75/5

Sam, Henri, Madelyn, and Edwina's lives intertwine in a most unexpected way. This novel focuses on life, death, and everything in between as Henri and Madelyn are both coma patients in the same hospital. And surprisingly, they also exist in the same in-between state. We get the viewpoints of all 4 characters thus giving us an interesting, and profound perspective on everything. It's a soulful, heartbreaking, oddly uplifting novel.

The writing is lyrical. Everything I've come to
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ENG (for German Bio please scroll down).

Born 1973 in Bielefeld, Germany, Nina George is a prize-winning and bestselling author (“Das Lavendelzimmer” – “The Little Paris Bookshop”) and freelance journalist since 1992, who has published 26 books (novels, mysteries and non-fiction) as well as over hundred short stories and more than 600 columns. George has worked as a cop reporter, columnist and mana
“Coincidences are surprising events whose meaning only becomes apparent in retrospect. They're a chance to change your life, and you can either seize that opportunity or spurn it.” 6 likes
“It is always said that we may take no earthly treasures with us when we die. No money or possessions, none of our beauty or power. That is correct. Some who have switched worlds have been intensely bewildered at first that they were unable to carry anything tangible with them. But there's a second truth. We can take anything with us that we could not hoard during our lifetimes because it could only be felt, sometimes for a few brief heartbeats, sometimes only in secret. We can take joy with us, and love. Every beautiful moment from our lives. All the light we have peacefully admired, all the lovely scents and laughter and friendship we have collected. Every kiss, every caress, and every song. The wind on our faces; tango; music; the rustle of autumn grass, stiff with frozen dew; the twinkle of the stars; contentment; courage; and generosity. All those things we many take with us. All that is in between.” 3 likes
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