The Anatomy of Dreams

Chloe Krug Benjamin. Atria, $15 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4767-6116-9
Benjamin’s debut novel is a moving love story wrapped in the trappings of a sci-fi thriller. Gabe is a student at a boarding school in California, where he gives Sylvie, a fellow student, her first taste of love and also introduces her to the secret nighttime experiments of the headmaster, Dr. Keller. When it comes to falling in love, the details are sharp—from sticky Cheetos-flavored kisses at a school dance to the heart-slamming feeling of being ignored. The teenage relationship doesn’t survive high school, but Sylvie can’t shake Gabe’s memory. Then he reappears in her life and convinces her to leave UC-Berkeley before graduating and join him in working with Dr. Keller—now a sleep researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conducting experiments that are not as benign as they seem at first. As Sylvie and Gabe’s relationship begins, again, to fray, it becomes clear that they’re both harboring secrets. All this is brought into catastrophic focus by their friendship with the attractive couple next door. Benjamin has a deft hand for rendering both the stomach-twisting nature of early infatuation and the way relationships mellow over time. Sentences have a dreamy rhythm. The plot works best when the thriller elements focus on the love story. A sly, promising, and ambitious debut. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 04/07/2014
Release date: 09/16/2014
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4767-6117-6
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