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.
Praise for The Cure for Dreaming
"A smattering of period photos adds authenticity to this gripping, atmospheric story of mind control and self-determination."
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Cat Winters is the author of In the Shadow of Blackbirds, which received three starred reviews and was a finalist for YALSA’s Morris Award for debut YA fiction. She grew up near Disneyland in Southern California. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family.
Gr 9 Up—What if you could tell a person's true nature just by his appearance? Emotional vampires would be represented with fangs and a ghastly pallor; feeble, miserable individuals would flicker in and out of existence. Winters's latest historical novel, set in Portland, Oregon, in the year 1900, explores this question and others. The daughter of a cruel dentist, Olivia Mead is called onto stage at a show to be hypnotized by the young yet famous Henri Reverie. Her furious father enlists Reverie's help to browbeat Olivia into her proper role as a woman, forcing her to "see the world the way it truly is." When Olivia realizes she cannot voice her dissent and that she can truly see peoples' natures, she must take her future into her own hands with the help of Reverie—all set within the backdrop of a dynamic suffragist movement. Winters combines the history of women's rights in the early 20th century with a spellbinding story of a young woman caught at a crossroads between family and self. A strong female protagonist, realistic dialogue, and well-written prose allow readers to become immersed in Olivia's rather unique (and sometimes frightening) world. Aesthetically, bibliophiles and novices alike will love the old-fashioned introductory chapter photographs with leading quotes.—Amanda C. Buschmann, Atascocita Middle School, Humble, TX
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