cover image The Dream Keeper’s Daughter

The Dream Keeper’s Daughter

Emily Colin. Ballantine, $16 trade paper (460) ISBN 978-1-101-88431-7

Colin’s second novel (after The Memory Thief) is a splendid mix of time travel, romantic yearning, and moving on after grief. Eight years after Max Adair disappeared without a trace, his lover, Isabel Griffin, has tried to move on, raising their daughter, Finn, and leaning on her best friend, Ryan. Max, meanwhile, has somehow wound up in Barbados in the 19th century, just before a massive slave rebellion. He has to stay alive while trying to figure out how to get messages to the future and find a way back to 21st-century South Carolina. The narrative shifts perspectives, juxtaposing Max’s terror and dramatic events in Barbados with Isabel’s staid life. The historical details of Max’s adventure, including food, music, language, and the lush setting, have excitement and energy missing from Isabel’s life. The steady pacing and deft plotting keep the two timelines in sync, and Colin also links them by connecting Max with Finn through their dreams. But Ryan, the only father Finn’s ever known, doesn’t like her insistence that Max is alive, and their complicated relationship adds yet another intricate layer to this complex and engaging story. Agent: Felicia Eth, Felicia Eth Literary. (July)