Skip to main content

The Dream Daughter

Review

The Dream Daughter

Diane Chamberlain’s latest novel, THE DREAM DAUGHTER, stays close to what she loves writing about the most --- people, their emotions, their relationships, their losses and triumphs, and their need for successful conclusions. In all of her books, she draws extensively from her former careers as a social worker and a psychotherapist, and from her love of North Carolina, where she lives and where her novels are set.

THE DREAM DAUGHTER has all of these elements, but Chamberlain has gone out of her comfort zone and explored the difficult and unproven scientific theory of time travel, as well as people and their relationships.

"THE DREAM DAUGHTER is a page-turner that has the power to simultaneously warm your heart and break it."

By itself, the story of Carly Sears --- a young, pregnant widow who discovers that the baby in her womb has a heart defect and will not survive after her birth --- is gut-wrenching and sad enough. It could stand alone as a compelling read. She lives with her sister Patti, brother-in-law Hunter, and their one-year-old son, John Paul, at their beach home in Nags Head, NC. This is the only family she has ever known.

Chamberlain adds a twist to the whole scenario of a vulnerable, lonely woman whose life and memories of her love are all invested in her baby and her dreams of both their futures. But just as she was helpless to save her husband, Joe, from dying in the Vietnam War, she is equally as helpless to intervene in the inevitable fate of her unborn child as decreed by the doctors in 1970.

However, Hunter, a physicist, tells her that there is a way to save the child --- by traveling to 2001, where doctors can perform fetal surgery on her. Yes, Hunter is a time traveler. He explains how portals serve as entrances and exits to different time periods, and the chronometers that look like watches are actually contraptions that calculate to the nearest second where and how you land near water or fall from a height. It’s a bit like the film Back to the Future, and because we are so accustomed to it in the movies, we accept it easily.

But it’s unusual in a book, and Chamberlain gets full marks for the smooth movements from 1970 to 2001 to 2013 and finally back to 1970. THE DREAM DAUGHTER is a page-turner that has the power to simultaneously warm your heart and break it. Readers will be drawn to the narrative of a mother’s love and sacrifice for her baby, along with the intriguing details of time travel and flashes of history.

Reviewed by Sonia Chopra on October 5, 2018

The Dream Daughter
by Diane Chamberlain

  • Publication Date: October 2, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 1250087309
  • ISBN-13: 9781250087300