Lincoln's Dreams

Connie Willis, Author
Connie Willis, Author Spectra Books $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-05197-1
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
As a researcher for a popular historical novelist, Jeff Johnston finds himself immersed in the minutiae of the Civil War, tracking down the name of a general's favorite horse or the spot where Lincoln's son was buried. His meeting with Annie, the patient of old friend Dr. Richard Madison, changes his perspective. While the novelist contemplates a book on Lincoln's prophetic dreams and consults sleep specialist Madison, Jeff discovers that Annie is having vivid, horrible dreams of the Civil War containing details she couldn't possibly know. The point of view is unmistakably that of defeated Confederate leader Robert E. Lee. Jeff tries to shield Annie from the opportunistic reach of both novelist and doctor, but he can't protect her from herself, for she feels duty bound to refight the war if it will finally allow Lee some measure of peace. This charming, unpredictable book, with its unforced subtext of more recent wars and their veterans' lingering bad dreams, is an impressive first novel from a talented writer whose short stories have already won acclaim. (May)
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