I have been eagerly awaiting this novel from Sue Moorcroft. She piqued my interest from her research blog posts … one in June 2011 giving her blog readers information about Dominic Christy and narcolepsy and another in August 2011 relating to further research for fish pedicures. I wanted to see how her research translated into a work of fiction.
Dream a Little Dream begins with a Prologue. Liza and her two best friends are at boyfriend Adam’s 30th birthday party (one of those with all the relatives present and hardly any friends). To relieve her boredom she’s inhaled the helium from one of the balloons … when Adam, up on stage, asks the big question. We know Liza’s answer but not what happened afterwards.
Chapter One we meet Dominic Christy. Dominic was diagnosed 10 months ago with Narcolepsy and cousin Miranda has talked him into trying alternative therapies. Waiting in the treatment room at The Stables for his Reflexology treatment with Miranda, he makes a sexist comment, not realising that Liza has come into the room. This is their first meeting. It’s actually quite a humorous scene! The reader finds out that something terrible must have happened after Adam’s 30th party … but we don’t know what could have such a devastating affect on Liza, making her shut herself off the world and not engaging fully with any relationships whether co-workers or personal. This was definitely a hook for me.
Dominic is looking for a new business venture and when he finds out the lease may be available on The Stables, starts making plans for an outdoor adventure centre, not realising that Liza is also interested and has ideas to expand on the therapies. This is obviously a cause for conflict as their attraction deepens.
Dominic’s best and oldest friend Kenny is due back in the UK soon. He’s qualified to coach, fitting in nicely with Dominic’s plans for The Stables. We soon find out that they both have the same taste in women and agreed years ago that all’s fair in love and war. This is another conflict throughout the story … and it’s not until much later that we find out just how much (not just for Dominic but for Liza too). This was a total shock to me! and I felt quite indignant! Kenny is a secondary character that nevertheless, causes many problems.
As one conflict ends in the story it is replaced with another, hooking the reader on and leading them smoothly into the next tension-laden conflict.
Moorcroft’s research into narcolepsy has been created into something real and tangible. It doesn’t dominate the plot but is an integral part of it – an integral part of who Dominic is. Dominic … an amazing character. So solid and logical but also with such a depth to his feelings and always there when Liza needs him most. I definitely lost my balance at the Halloween fancy dress party (fab descriptions of his costume and what was underneath!) and later, back at Liza’s home! I can’t mention Dominic without also mentioning his sidekick, Crosswind – a dog with plenty of character of his own! Such an entertaining mutt.
Some chapters are led in by messages on the PWN/sleep message boards (People With Narcolepsy). These messages are relevant to the content of the chapter, however, there is another significance to these messages which I have to admit I hadn’t worked out. What a surprise! Loved that I hadn’t worked this out.
Not only have I been entertained by the tension, conflict and romance but I’ve also really enjoyed Moorcroft’s humour and style of writing. For example, when Liza has braved going into town with her friends for the first time in ages, we know something is about to happen …
“What?” Like a child left alone with bedroom monsters, Liza didn’t want to turn and look.”
And how beautiful is this personification …
“Through the window, he watched the trees in the garden stretching their black arms to the clouds, summer’s green-leaf clothes turned to brown autumn rags.”
Dream a Little Dream is a novel that has engaged all my emotions, hooked me in with the conflict and tension, entertained me with all the characters and kept me on the edge of my seat with the simmering romance. For these reasons, it’s a keeper for me!
Thanks to Choc Lit for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.