Author: Cat Winters
Rating: 7 out of 10
Summary (Dreaming about goodreads): 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.
My Thoughts: This book was different. Even the cover was different. My copy has this weird ridged spiral (see the above pictures) over the whole cover that intrigued me. So, I judged a book by its cover...sue me (but actually don't because I don't have any money). It turned out to be a good thing that I picked up this book.
I've been getting more into these historical fiction books. They show you a world that you don't get to experience every day. Modern novels are great but why not use books to really experience something new? I felt the same about the Diviners.
Anyway, the characters. Well, I kind of hated Henri. I mean, really? You had to let this girl suffer? There was absolutely nothing that you could do? I call BS. If I were Olivia, I wouldn't have helped him. I don't think that I would have liked him very much. She seemed upset but oddly fine with the whole thing. That bothered me quite a bit. As for Olivia? I felt so bad for her. Even I was getting frustrated. Her life just wasn't fair and she couldn't even do anything about it. I thought that it was fantastic that she tried to follow the women's rights movement even though she had so little freedom and it caused her so much trouble.
This is the first book I've read with a hypnotist and a dentist in it. It was a strange combination. This is one of those bizarre book things that makes me wonder what the writer was doing or thinking about while writing this book. Winters, if you read this, I'm curious how you feel about your dentist.
However, I think that I wanted more. I want more interaction between Olivia and Henri and I want to get a better conclusion. It was a good ending but it left me with too many questions about everyone's future.
So: I thought this book was great. I enjoyed the uniqueness and the struggle that Olivia was facing. I've never read books about the women's rights movement or dentists or hypnotists and I haven't read much that takes place in the 1900's. All of these things together made for a special experience. Winters spins a wonderful tale with A+ writing and attention to detail. I would read this book again in a second.
I think I will keep an eye out for Winters' other novels.