The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Title: The Cure for Dreaming
Author: Cat Winters
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: October 14, 2014

Summary from 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. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.


The Cure for Dreaming was not the book I had hoped it would be. Cat Winter’s debut, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, was full of atmosphere and history and emotion. It was honestly, nothing short of brilliant and I had hoped for the same from The Cure for Dreaming. But The Cure for Dreaming was nothing more than lackluster.

The promise was there – with an eerie but awesome premise - but this, unfortunately, was not capitalized on. I felt like the story only dabbled in the women’s suffrage movement, hypnosis, and Dracula folklore without really embodying any of it, and thus I didn’t feel responsive to any of it. It also wasn’t tied together very well, with tenuous connections at best, that I struggled to find believable. For instance, Olivia was hypnotized to “see the world the way it truly is” and afterwards, people whom she couldn’t trust appeared as vampires, likely because of her infatuation with Dracula?

Moreover, this book read a little young. It wasn’t that Olivia was overtly na├»ve or anything but the story read very innocently, simplistically and maybe even a little predictably. This, in conjunction with the underdeveloped backdrop, left me feeling a little uninspired at times.

I don’t mean to only point out what didn’t work for me, it is just always easier to do so. Most of my reservations had to do with the fact that this book didn't affect me in any way - which could also have something to do with my mood and timing. So feelings aside, I can appreciate the strong beginning, the fitting end and the overall unique tale. And I was very frustrated on behalf of Olivia at times. Her father was downright awful.

In summary, my expectations were definitely too high for this book. I expected more and was left disappointed. It kills me to write a less than glowing review for a Cat Winters book, but that is just how it is sometimes. I am still a fan of hers - In the Shadow of Blackbirds is one of my absolute favorites - and look forward to her next book. 

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