At the start of the Gilbert Morris novel The Dream, readers might think that for the main character a better title would have been something about a nightmare. This is so because trying times are all Lanie Freeman has ever known. At the age of 14 she lost her mother and, now, three years later during the aftereffects of the stock crash of 1929, she finds herself rearing her four younger siblings after her father becomes incarcerated. The only helper she has in her day-to-day life is a distant relative, Aunt Kezia. As a pretty 17-year-old single girl, Lanie captures the attention of young Rodger Langley, yet she harbors feelings for the town doctor, Owen Merritt. One small problem, however, is that Dr. Merritt is already engaged to Langley’s sister. On top of everything else, the Freemans are housing a young woman, Cass, who has a mysterious past no one has been able to unravel as yet. But things are about to see major changes because a new reverend is coming to town, and he intends to invest himself (and God) in everyone’s life.
The author uses many different subplots to formulate the overarching narrative of this saga. His events take twist and turns, always keeping the reader entertained. The characters are realistic, with struggles and flaws that encourage readers to explore aspects of their own Christian behavior.
The only points I would make readers aware of would be that the author espouses Calvinistic theology, and that there are certain sexual innuendos not appropriate for younger readers. Also, although abortion was not legalized until 1973 in the United States, part of this story focuses on the underground abortion practices of 1931.
The Dream is a heartwarming story about real people doing their best to survive during the era of The Depression. It’s a mature story that is frank, believable, and emotionally challenging. – Khrista Beckmann, Christian Book Previews.com
Lanie Freeman had to grow up fast. Her mother died when she was just fourteen and now her father is in prison. The oldest of five children, seventeen-year-old Lanie has transformed into a surrogate mother … and a beautiful young woman. Not only must she keep her family together, but lately she has drawn the attention of Roger Langley, son of the richest man in town.
Then the town of Fairhope is thrown into chaos when the new preacher arrives—wearing blue jeans and riding a motorcycle. In only a month, dashing Brother Colin Ryan shakes the entire town to the core of their beliefs. With the town embattled over the preacher, her family struggling to survive, and her own heart in turmoil, Lanie seeks solace in her writing. She pours out her heart to God, trusting his promises. But when things fall apart at every turn, will Lanie continue to trust?
The Dream continues the inspiring saga of one woman’s struggle to hold together her family and follow her dreams in the midst of America’s darkest hour.