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Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr
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it was amazing
bookshelves: childrens-literature, fairy-tales-fantasy, classics, self-help, favourites-read, catherine-storr, book-reviews
Read 2 times. Last read December 25, 2018 to December 28, 2018.

The basic premise of Catherine Storr's Marianne Dreams is that when the main protagonist, that when young and boisterous Marianne is confined to her bed for many weeks due to serious illness (the exact nature of her malady is never clearly stated, but I have always wondered whether it might be a case of rheumatic fever) to ward off her boredom and frustrations at having to remain not only inside but actually firmly bedridden, she passes her time drawing pictures (but with a special and as it turns out rather magical drawing pencil she has found, and which drawings start to increasingly take over both her dreams and her reality, her life as it is). Now the house that Marianne imagines (dreams about) and then proceeds to draw with her special pencil has a boy in the window (who actually also turns out to be a real boy named Mark who has had polio and is thus housebound and cannot or perhaps will not come out, cannot or will not leave his home, which is probably why at first Marianne has imagined and the drawn her envisioned domicile without doors or stairs). And while originally, Marianne is much sympathetic towards Mark, and tries to help him by providing (by drawing) luxuries and necessities (including stairs), and while the two children do seem to almost immediately become something like best friends in their dream world, Marianne soon becomes nastily jealous of Mark for some reason and unfortunately, the eyes (the malevolent, monitoring eyes) she has drawn (in her fit of jealous rage) on the boulders near the house make these same into a genuine and dangerous horror and threat for and to both Mark and her. And indeed while Marianne soon realises and very much understands that the eyes she has given to the stone boulders have created actual and palpable danger, all and sundry attempts of Marianne's to correct this, to correct her act of willful and unbridled, unnecessary drawn and created envy or to even render the so-called Watchers less ominous and make them more potentially benign, badly do rather majorly misfire, finally necessitating a daring and dashing rescue and escape, and with this, a liberation for both children, Mark from his often self-imposed exile due to polio and his belief that he is somehow lesser because of his bout with said disease and Marianne from her tendency towards jealousy and easy, fast anger and nastiness (which in my opinion demonstrates that perhaps, the ominousness of the boulders and the fact that they were created, that they were drawn in envious anger notwithstanding, the Watchers and the adventurous rescue of Mark and escape from them is actually, was actually necessary and a true requirement for both children).

In Marianne Dreams author Catherine Storr plays with the concept that reality and fantasy can and do overlap and in fact often interplay, and that children are also not by nature always innocent and shiningly glowing, that they do have the desire, or at least that they can have the desire and capability for destruction, anger, even evil in them, in their natures (and that by outing these desires, these thoughts, these feelings of resentful frustration, such as how Marianne proceeds to visually portray her jealousy of Mark by means of the Watchers, while there is indeed a genuine threat created and engendered by and through this, the Watchers and the dangers, the potential evil emanating from them can or at least might also be harnessed and thus used to cause liberation, escape and an emergence of more positive, more healthy and less destructive general attitudes and behaviours). For without the Watchers precipitating the action, making necessary Mark's rescue and escape from the house, Mark himself would likely and even probably never have even considered leaving (escaping) his polio induced exile from society and reality and similarly, Marianne's jealous nature would have simply and unhealthily festered inside of her, tainting her soul, ravaging her feelings. Highly recommended (but I would definitely consider Marianne Dreams more a novel for older children above the age of eleven or twelve, as while there is no real violence depicted and presented, there definitely is a constant vein of potential creepiness featured, and the implied threat from the Watchers is very much ever-present, which might indeed be rather frightening to and for younger or very sensitive children, especially if they should also have the tendency towards and for lurid, colourful dreams).

And yes, there also appears to be a sequel, Marianne and Mark (which I unfortunately have not yet managed to read, as it is not nearly as well known as Marianne Dreams and sadly also not in current print and all that readily and easily available at reasonable purchasing prices).
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Reading Progress

December 17, 2009 – Shelved
December 17, 2009 – Shelved as: childrens-literature
December 28, 2009 – Shelved as: fairy-tales-fantasy
February 2, 2010 – Started Reading
February 5, 2010 – Finished Reading
March 29, 2010 – Shelved as: classics
April 29, 2017 – Shelved as: self-help
April 29, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
September 20, 2017 – Shelved as: catherine-storr
February 5, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites-i-have-read
February 5, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites-read
February 5, 2018 – Shelved as: favourites-read
December 25, 2018 – Started Reading
December 28, 2018 – Shelved as: book-reviews
December 28, 2018 – Finished Reading

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