Review: The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
Something strange is happening in Santa Lora, a small college town in Southern California. It starts when one girl experiences flu like symptoms, falls asleep and cannot be woken. Soon other residents of the college begin to fall asleep, as do other residents of the town. As the virus sweeps through the town, so does fear, panic and the need to survive at all costs.
Beautifully written, this novel was an utterly captivating story about an icky subject. Through her many characters from isolated student Mei, to pregnant victim Rebecca, to young parents Annie and Ben, to Libby and Sara the children of a conspiracy theorist, through to the ageing Nathaniel whose story takes a very different twist, we experience the many sides to this strange phenomena, which in many ways echoes the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. And the whole thing is fascinating. Much like Nevil Schute's novel about the end of the world, On the Beach, many characters find a newfound sense of purpose and hope through the disaster and it's quite interesting to see who grows, and how.
And just wait until you discover the reason for the title.
Overall, I found this one to be quite captivating. Highly recommended.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for my reading copy of The Dreamers.
Karen Thompson Walker is also the author of The Age of Miracles, a coming of age novel set against a very surprising backdrop.