GoodReads: Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women.Expected publication date: 14/10/14
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"Now, that's womanhood perfected, Percy my boy. That's the type of girl you want. Silent. Alluring. Submissive."
Am I surprised that I loved this book? Nope. I fell head over heels in love with Winters' debut, In the Shadow of Blackbirds and was expecting The Cure for Dreaming to be every bit as amazing.
The Cure for Dreaming is set in the beginning of the 20th Century, in a time where upon leaving school women were expected to marry and be domestic house wives. However, this did not stop them from dreaming. Olivia, the headstrong mc is among these dreamers, she has, as her dad refers to them "unfeminine" dreams about college and the women's suffrage. This is where Henri, a turn of the century hypnotist comes into the story. Wanting to rid his daughter of her unfeminine dreams Olivia's dad hires Henri to cure her. And what follows from there? Well, you'll just have to read the book for yourself to find out. I will say this, however: Olivia's journey had me feeling a blaze of different emotions, and although Olivia's dads actions angered me I have to admit that by the end of the book I kind of felt sorry for him. In his own way, I think he genuinely thought what he was doing was best for Olivia.
I easily related to Olivia. Ever felt awkward around cute guys? *nods* Read your favourite book (in Olivia's case, Dracula) way too many times to count? *nods again* Yep, I definitely see a piece of myself in Olivia. Moving onto the the romance: I thought it was lovely, but what I loved most about it was that the mc wasn't defined by it.
If there was was only one word I could use to describe this book it would atmospheric. Centered around an important movement: the women's suffrage, The Cure for Dreaming is littered with photos which really add to the tone of the story. I enjoyed the way in which Winters portrayed this piece of history, she presented a society in which there was a growing fight for the right to vote, and where women were no longer content being silent and obedient house wives.
The ending was bittersweet, it made me feel both sad and hopeful. All in all, The Cure for Dreaming was a deliciously compelling read full of atmosphere and allure.