Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘'s Reviews > The Cure for Dreaming

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
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bookshelves: 2015-read, historical, young-adult


"As I've learned through my own ordeals, once you start viewing the world the way it truly is, it is impossible to ignore both its beauty and its ugliness. Look around you.
You can't stop seeing it, can you?"

These sentences here? They're worth 5 big shiny stars. Sadly, the book was not. If Cat Winters is without doubt a formidable storyteller and if I think the ideas she's trying to convey are absolutely fabulous (with all my heart, thank you), I felt let down by several aspects of this book.



The Cure for Dreaming offers us a demeaning, thoughts-inducing trip back in time when women were fighting for their rights - to vote, and more generally to be treated as equals as men.



In 1900s Portland, while suffragists are trying to make themselves heard, Olivia nurtures the dreams to attend College and to get the chance to participate in her country's future. Nothing wild, you think? It was without counting on her father's dreams which are in glaring contradiction with hers : indeed his sole aim is to make her marry "well' (think wealthy) and to perpetrate the way of life he always followed.

What I found fascinating is to see that the sexist situations Olivia is facing are the SAME as the ones that annoys me so much in romance novels nowadays. Cat Winters, on the contrary, presents these situations as they really are : controlling, demeaning, and so very sexist. Thank you. Let's play a little matching game, okay?

Rule #1 : You shall not express your anger.



... or speak your mind, for that matter.



Rule #2 : You shall love having no choices.



Rule #3 : You shall find forced kiss exciting



I could go round and round in circles, my point wouldn't be clearer : some of the sexist and infuriating stereotypes and behaviors Olivia denounces in 1900s women's life are still pictured as appealing and sexy in many romance novels. I'm kind of depressed right now.

Despite this oppressive atmosphere, Olivia stays strong-minded and I really liked her. Little by little, she's trying to make sense of her life and her relationships and I was happy to see her grow throughout the novel and finally start to publicly express her needs and thoughts. This is so very important. See, it took me time to realize that sometimes you HAD to speak up for yourself. People think you're a bitch? So what. No, really. So what.

As for the paranormal aspect, I'll let the mystery remain complete but I have to say that I found its introduction fabulous and unexpected. I LOVED IT. So imaginative and like nothing I read before.



Unfortunately, despite the atmospheric writing, the original and brilliant paranormal aspect and the oh-so-important issues tackled, my connection often wavered, letting me unable to trigger strong emotions : first because the dialogues sounded sometimes fake to me (issue I already had with The Steep and Thorny Way) but mostly because of the flat secondary characters, starting with Henry, the male lead. I mean, okay, he is sweet. Really. Yet he never triggered my aww button and even though I was rooting for them, he missed this little something more, this extra-layer that would have make my heart beat faster. As for her best friend, Tania - I think? GAH. I already forgot. See?? - I was pretty disappointed by the fact that she didn't play a greater role in the story. Yes she makes appearances but not near enough for me to care about her.



Oh, boy. What did happen to the men? Look, I do realize that women rights weren't popular among men at the time, and I do not have a problem with a rather unlikeable portrayal of men in that aspect. Yet I need nuances. As I said, aside from Olivia, the main character, the other characters are flat and pretty stereotypical (the father! GAH!), especially the villains. We're not offered a real development of the secondary characters, and the way they talk often made me roll my eyes, especially when it comes to the dialogues with her father. I mean, are you kidding me? Who is this crazy dentist who's talking with his daughter as if he killed puppies for a living?

Meet Olivia's father.


Meet the men, except Henry and one or two exceptions.


Look, I'm not denying that Cat Winters addressed the fact that some men shared suffragists views, because she did, but it remains that the male characters she offers us don't demonstrate critical thinking. They're plain villains. Boo-hiss.

That ending, though? It was amazing. Tears of joy inducing. I adored it.


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Reading Progress

September 28, 2015 – Shelved
November 25, 2015 – Started Reading
November 25, 2015 –
0.0% "I know I said I would wait but... I do realize that I have a problem with frustration. Whoops."
November 26, 2015 –
44.0% "It's astounding to see how many situations, used here to show how sexist the society was at the time, are the SAME situations that annoy me so much in romance novels nowadays : the male-lead ordering food without asking for her opinion, for instance."
November 27, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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Vanessa J. That's exactly what I thought about the characters. Can't wait for your full review!


Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈ I feel like everywhere I look lately this author is showing up everywhere on my feed! I think it's a sign!


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Vane wrote: "That's exactly what I thought about the characters. Can't wait for your full review!"

Yeah, I thought about what you said and completely understand now.


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈ wrote: "I feel like everywhere I look lately this author is showing up everywhere on my feed! I think it's a sign!"

YES IT IS! My favorite is by far In the Shadow of Blackbirds : I LOVED this one. <3


message 5: by Chantal (new)

Chantal  (Every Word A Doorway) I have yet to read a Cat Winters book. Not sure with which one to start with...Looking forward to your review, Alienor!


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Chantal wrote: "I have yet to read a Cat Winters book. Not sure with which one to start with...Looking forward to your review, Alienor!"

Oooh can I say In the Shadow of Blackbirds??? I ADORE this book. Wonderful ♥ My review will probabbly be up tonight :)


message 7: by Chantal (new)

Chantal  (Every Word A Doorway) Alienor ✘ French frowner ✘ wrote: "Chantal wrote: "I have yet to read a Cat Winters book. Not sure with which one to start with...Looking forward to your review, Alienor!"

Oooh can I say In the Shadow of Blackbirds?..."


Oooh, then I'll start with that one! I've seen some amazing reviews :)


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Chantal wrote: "Alienor ✘ French frowner ✘ wrote: "Chantal wrote: "I have yet to read a Cat Winters book. Not sure with which one to start with...Looking forward to your review, Alienor!"

Oooh can I say [book:In ..."


YAY!!! I can't wait to hear your thoughts about it ♥


Sarah Great review, Anna! I wasn't a huge fan of her first book, but I love historical fiction so I'll pick this up.


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Sarah ♢November hiatus♢ wrote: "Great review, Anna! I wasn't a huge fan of her first book, but I love historical fiction so I'll pick this up."

Thank you! The subject is really interesting despite the flaws :)


Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤ Omg Anna. I adore that first quote...it gave me chills...and it's SO RIGHT.

Ahhhh. Fabulous review, my dear.

LOVE YOU DARK PUP...sorry this didn't wholly work!


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤ wrote: "Omg Anna. I adore that first quote...it gave me chills...and it's SO RIGHT.

Ahhhh. Fabulous review, my dear.

LOVE YOU DARK PUP...sorry this didn't wholly work!"


I KNOW RIGHT? I teared up at this. Literally (and I cut it, the rest is wonderful too ♥)

Yeah, I was a little disappointed but thanks GD the ending was amazing!

Thank youu!! LOVE!


message 13: by PageTurner (new)

PageTurner i like that comparison with 'modern' books!


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ PageTurner wrote: "i like that comparison with 'modern' books!"

Thank you!! :)


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