The Cure for Dreaming

8 CDs. 8:45 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2014. $87.75. ISBN 9781490635286. Playaway, digital download.
Gr 8 Up—To celebrate her 17th birthday, Olivia Mead attends the Portland, OR, stage show of Henri Reverie, a talented mesmerist about her own age. She soon encounters Henri a second time—her overbearing father hires him to cure Olivia through hypnotism of unladylike notions such as wearing pants, riding a bike alone, and supporting women's voting rights. After Henri's treatment, Olivia can respond only with a dreamy "All is well" when confronted by "unfeminine" thoughts. But all is not well! A side effect of the hypnosis is that Olivia now sees people as they truly are. A society boy is seen as the lecher he is at heart, and sickening ghouls dine at an upper-class party. Henri, who has secrets of his own, is touched by Olivia's plight, and joins forces with her to trick her father and confront those who mock the suffragettes. Narrator Jennifer Ikeda has a soothing style, though an occasional voice ventures close to shrill.
VERDICT The rich historical context and hints of magic will appeal to fans of Winters's debut, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, as well as to fans of Jennifer Donnelly and Libba Bray.

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