Julie's Reviews > The Lost History of Dreams

The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr
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bookshelves: fiction, own

I was intrigued by the fascinating elements this book promised: gothic atmosphere, a momento mori daguerreotypist, a story within a story, and a stained glass memorial chapel in the English countryside. Hugh de Bonne is a famed poet who created the chapel as the final resting place for his wife, Ada. Hugh’s cousin Robert, the daguerreotypist of the dead, is tasked with delivering Hugh’s earthly remains to lie besides Ada in the stained glass wonder known as Ada’s Folly. But an obstacle prevents Robert from fulfilling Hugh’s final wishes. Ada’s niece Isabelle refuses to open Ada’s Folly. Eventually Robert convinces Isabelle to lay Hugh to rest, but Isabelle sets her own conditions. Robert, a former Ovid scholar, must write the story of Ada’s life as dictated by her devoted niece.

“And in that moment Robert learned something he never dared admit: that the separation between hate and love was hair thin, and could flip like an hourglass, leaving nothing the same as it had been.” That pretty much sums up the contradictory behavior of the characters, which was frustrating. More often than not, Isabelle is standoffish and combative, but a moment later, she’ll be forthcoming and friendly. Robert goes from wanting nothing more to do with Hugh’s affairs and can’t wait to get away from Isabelle, but then his curiosity overcomes any common sense to flee.

Yes, the mood is dramatic with its ghosts and gloom, moors and morbidity. But it’s really a series of tragedies piled one on top of another. Love stories mired in misfortune don’t allow for much enthusiasm and the characters willingness to dwell on the unhappiest aspects of their lives was a bit depressing. I wanted to like this book so much more, and it did have some redeeming qualities, but I just didn’t feel deeply moved or excited by it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.
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Reading Progress

January 17, 2019 – Shelved
January 17, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
January 17, 2019 – Shelved as: fiction
March 21, 2019 – Started Reading
March 21, 2019 – Shelved as: own
March 27, 2019 – Finished Reading

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