Julie's Reviews > The Lost History of Dreams

The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr
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bookshelves: 2019, e-book, historical-fiction, gothic, mystery-shelf

The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr is a 2019 Touchstone Books publication.

A mesmerizing traditional Gothic tale replete with ghosts and a few stunning twists that will keep you turning pages long past your bedtime!

All love stories are ghost stories in disguise

Robert Highstead, a former historian turned post -mortem photographer, is still struggling with the premature death of his wife, Sida. His daguerreotype photos bring comfort to others, and is in an odd way, a cathartic occupation.

However, when his brother informs him that their cousin, the famed poet Hugh de Bonne has died, he asks Robert to accompany Hugh's remains to his final resting place. Robert never met Hugh in life and is initially reluctant to make the journey. But, because Hugh wished to be laid to rest by his beloved wife, Ada, in a glass chapel he made especially for her, sixteen years prior, he agrees, knowing better than most the desire to be reunited with one’s spouse.

However, the scene he encounters upon arriving on the moors of Shropshire is startling. His presence is not welcomed by Ada's niece, Isabelle, who outright refuses to unlock the chapel. Not only that, he learns the chapel is a gathering place for deeply devoted fans, of Hugh’s last book, “The Lost History of Dreams.”

Isabelle and Robert strike a bargain, eventually. If Robert will record Ada’s story, within five nights, Isabelle will agree to unlock the chapel.

Ada’s life story, as told through Isabelle’s masterful storytelling, keeps Robert entranced to the point of obsession. As the relationship between Isabelle and Robert deepens, the sad story surrounding Sida, and her death gradually unravels, revealing Robert’s guilt and inconsolable grief. His condition is so profound, spirits linger in his orbit, neither of them able to abide the present circumstances, or move beyond them.

Naturally, I really liked this story. It’s right up my alley and I got sucked into it immediately. The story enthralled me and kept me glued to the pages from start to finish. While a bit too ambitious at times, this is a crackling good historical mystery, heavily steeped in old school Gothic traditions.

While the dramatics are toned down a bit, the story is heavy, creepy, and atmospheric. The mystery is absorbing and twisty, which kept me on toes.

But, let’s not forget the love story. It’s unconventional, but pure Gothic joy. However, I also loved the eventual break in the clouds, and all the possibilities and hope the story left me with.

Although I read this story in the peak of summer, the whole time I was reading it, I kept thinking it would be a great fireside novel fitting for long, dark winter nights. But no matter when you decide to read it, if you like Gothic historical fiction, you don’t want to pass this one up.

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Reading Progress

June 14, 2019 – Started Reading
June 14, 2019 – Shelved
July 15, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
July 15, 2019 – Shelved as: e-book
July 15, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
July 15, 2019 – Shelved as: gothic
July 15, 2019 – Shelved as: mystery-shelf
July 15, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 60 (60 new)


message 1: by Dita (new)

Dita What an amazing review, Julie!


RedemptionDenied Excellent review, Julie!


message 3: by Nicola (new)

Nicola Fantastic review Julie! 🥰💕


Julie Dita wrote: "What an amazing review, Julie!"

Thank you, Dita!! 💕


Julie Nicola wrote: "Fantastic review Julie! 🥰💕"

Thank you, Nicola!! 💕


Julie RedemptionDenied wrote: "Excellent review, Julie!"

Thank you, RD!! 💕


message 7: by Katy (new) - added it

Katy Fabulous review Julie! Thanks for bringing this book to the forefront...will certainly have to add it to the TBR list now! Can't wait!


message 8: by KAS (new)

KAS Glad this was a real page turner for you, dear Julie ;) Excellent review!! 💚💜❤️


Julie Katy wrote: "Fabulous review Julie! Thanks for bringing this book to the forefront...will certainly have to add it to the TBR list now! Can't wait!"

Thank you, Katy!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!! Happy reading! 💕


Julie KAS wrote: "Glad this was a real page turner for you, dear Julie ;) Excellent review!! 💚💜❤️"

Thank very much, KAS!! 💕


message 11: by Heidi (new) - added it

Heidi On my “to read” list now! Great review!


message 12: by Em Lost In Books (new)

Em Lost In Books Lovely review, Julie. :)


message 13: by Meredith (new) - added it

Meredith Fabulous review, Julie! This sounds so good!


Norma * Traveling Sister Fabulous review, Julie! Sounds like a good one!


Julie Heidi wrote: "On my “to read” list now! Great review!"

Thank you, Heidi!! I hope you enjoy it! Happy reading!! 💕


Julie Em Lost In Books wrote: "Lovely review, Julie. :)"

Thank you so much, Em!! 😊😊


Julie Meredith wrote: "Fabulous review, Julie! This sounds so good!"

Thank you, Meredith!! It was my kind of book!! 😊😊


Julie Norma * Traveling Sister wrote: "Fabulous review, Julie! Sounds like a good one!"

Thank you very much, Norma! 😊😊


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader This sounds like one I’d love, too, Julie! It reminds me a little of The Spirit Photographer I read earlier this year. Wonderful review!


Julie Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader wrote: "This sounds like one I’d love, too, Julie! It reminds me a little of The Spirit Photographer I read earlier this year. Wonderful review!"

Thank you very much, Jennifer. I'll have to check out The Spirit Photographer!! 💕


message 21: by Lyn (new) - added it

Lyn Caglio Excellent review, Julie. I don’t read too many of these types of books, but this one really grabs my interest. Might give it a try. ☺️


Julie Lyn wrote: "Excellent review, Julie. I don’t read too many of these types of books, but this one really grabs my interest. Might give it a try. ☺️"

Thank you, Lyn!! I hope you will at least consider it. 💕


message 23: by Kaceey (new)

Kaceey Fantastic review Julie! Sounds so good!🤗💜


message 24: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Walters Great review and totally sounds like your type of book!! Gothic going on ... you must have LOVED it.
Great review and that
Great advice about the comparison with Wuthering Heights, too.


Julie Kaceey wrote: "Fantastic review Julie! Sounds so good!🤗💜"

Thank you so much, Kaceey!! 💕


Julie Elyse wrote: "Great review and totally sounds like your type of book!! Gothic going on ... you must have LOVED it.
Great review and that
Great advice about the comparison with Wuthering Heights, too."


Thank you, Elyse!! I did enjoy this one a lot! Yes, publishers get a little effusive at times and that does more harm than good. 💕


message 27: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Great review, Julie. My pet peeve is comparisons to other books in a blurb, which most times just aren’t true.


message 28: by Candi (new) - added it

Candi Terrific review, Julie! I always appreciate your thoughts on these Gothic stories as I enjoy reading them from time to time. This one sounds good!


Julie Angela M wrote: "Great review, Julie. My pet peeve is comparisons to other books in a blurb, which most times just aren’t true."

Thank you, Angela!! Mine too!! It's really not fair to the author or the reader. 😊😊


Julie Candi wrote: "Terrific review, Julie! I always appreciate your thoughts on these Gothic stories as I enjoy reading them from time to time. This one sounds good!"

Thank you, Candi!! I think you might like this one!! 😊😊


message 31: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Langford Fabulous review Julie ! I’ll have to read more books with gothic themes


message 32: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Langford Fabulous review Julie ! I’ll have to read more books with gothic themes !


Julie Lucy wrote: "Fabulous review Julie ! I’ll have to read more books with gothic themes !"

Thank you, Lucy!! I love to convert more people to this genre! 😊


Mackenzie - PhDiva Books A love story and ghost story with a gothic theme and an historical mystery??? Sounds fantastic, Julie :) Great review!!!


Julie Mackenzie - PhDiva Books wrote: "A love story and ghost story with a gothic theme and an historical mystery??? Sounds fantastic, Julie :) Great review!!!"

Thank you, Mackenzie!! Yes, it has a little bit of everything in it! Really good! 😊💕


message 36: by Brandice (new)

Brandice This sounds interesting - Nice review, Julie!


Julie Brandice wrote: "This sounds interesting - Nice review, Julie!"

Thank you, Brandice!! 🤗


message 38: by Paromjit (new)

Paromjit Marvellous review as always, dearest Julie! 💕💕


Julie Paromjit wrote: "Marvellous review as always, dearest Julie! 💕💕"

Thank you so much, Paromjit!! 🤗


message 40: by Beata (new)

Beata Wonderful review, Julie :)) Will definitely check this title :)


Julie Beata wrote: "Wonderful review, Julie :)) Will definitely check this title :)"

Thank you, Beata!! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one! 💕


message 42: by JanB (new)

JanB I confess I have not read Wuthering Heights, so I would have no such expectations. I do love a good gothic tale though. Terrific review Julie! 💖


Julie JanB wrote: "I confess I have not read Wuthering Heights, so I would have no such expectations. I do love a good gothic tale though. Terrific review Julie! 💖"

Thank you, Jan!! I read it WAY back in high school. I'm really more of a Jane Eyre fan, but I've been thinking about reading Wuthering Heights again someday soon. There seems to be a renewed interest in it recently, especially in the newer Gothic stories. This one is really good!! 💕


Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends Wonderful review, Julie!


Julie Brenda - Traveling Sister wrote: "Wonderful review, Julie!"

Thank you, Brenda!! 💕


message 46: by Sandra (new) - added it

Sandra Terrific review Julie! :)


Evonne Kendle Good review. Agreed.


message 48: by Katy (new) - added it

Katy A very enticing review Julie! Already in my TBR, can’t wait to get to it!


Julie Katy wrote: "A very enticing review Julie! Already in my TBR, can’t wait to get to it!"

Thank you, Katy!! I hope you enjoy this one! 💖


Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* Lovely review, Julie! 🌸


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