Book info

Overheard In A Dream (2008)

Overheard in a Dream (2008)
Rating
3.7 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0007260938 (ISBN13: 9780007260935)
languge
English
genre
publisher
harper
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Overheard In A Dream (2008)
Overheard In A Dream (2008)

About book: Initial impressions I started out with reasonably high hopes for this book, the premise sounded great, right up my street and it read well albeit it perhaps a little slow if anything for the first couple of chapters. Anyway it soon became apparent aside from having very little in the way of actual plot, that it was going to take a weird turn. The book soon turned from a psychological case study regarding an autistic kid to becoming centred around a weird fantasy life of the kids mother when she was a kid. At this stage I gave up. Just wasn't what the book advertised itself to be. Plot + Characterisation Plot- The plot "allegedly" surrounded a child called Conor who has already been diagnosed with Autism. When his mother, famous novelist Laura finds she cannot handle him any longer and her relationship with her husband Alan also begins to suffer as a result, she seeks the help of James, a child psychologist. You would assume based on the above, which was pretty much the synopsis given on the book albeit in slightly different wording, that the emphasis of the story therefore would be around Conor, perhaps identifying the issues he has and seeking to find a manageable solution. The blurb however lied. This was more of some strange fantasy than a psychological novel. It revolves around for the most part the mothers early life where she recounts strange tales of worlds she created out of her imagination. To make matters worse, we are then forced to hear about these tales in detail by us being provided by various stories she had written down after the time to try and keep the memory/dream as vivid as possible. Basically the book turned out to be something it didn't advertise itself as and I was very disappointed.Characters- The characters were fairly weren't too bad. Conor was mildly annoying but that was to be expected having no understanding and perhaps tolerance of autism unfortunately, Alan and Laura were likeable and you sympathised for both of them and James well seemed nice enough. Cliched would also be another way to describe them but I suppose in these novels they would be to a degree. Still, likeable for the most part and fairly well developed when not going into irrelevant detail about Laura's imagination rather than her (and Conor's, life). Writing So based on the above, bearing in mind, I have been mislead and lied to by the blurb in the book, the book goes on a completely different tangent in regards to genre from psychological to fantasy of which carries no coherence at all, this would have usually attracted a one star and perhaps an utter rubbish label however its one redeeming feature was, that although by no means literary brilliance, it read well. It read slow, the pace was certainly very slow but once again could be expected from what you would get from a psychological book. The writing is what made me continue quite a way into the book before giving up but had to stop when I'd just quite simply had enough of the fact that Laura and her stupid and very boring, not to mention childish, oh and also completely uninteresting imagination became the main plot of the book when the blurb advertised otherwise. Overall Based on the writing, I would possibly give this author one more go, but beyond that, unless more promising, I won't be bothering because I felt deceived here and thats not a very good selling point.

Gemengde gevoelens heb ik over dit boek. De verwachting van het boek is deels zeer goed uitgekomen, maar deels ook helemaal niet.Dit boek gaat over de negenjarige Conor die de diagnose autisme heeft en in therapie komt bij kinderpsychiater James. James werkt vanuit een methodiek waarbij het hele gezin betrokken wordt bij de therapie en niet alleen het kind in kwestie.Laura, de moeder van Conor, lijkt in een net zo grote fantasiewereld te leven als Conor. Ook zij komt voor gesprekken bij James. Aanvankelijk zouden die gesprekken vanuit de methodiek van James over Conor moeten gaan. Zijn manier van werken is echter zo dat de cliënt de baas is. Dit om vertrouwen te creëren en daarmee meer openheid te krijgen van cliënten. Laura vertelt echter helemaal niks over Conor. Sterker nog, ze lijkt het helemaal niet over haar zoon te willen hebben. Ze vertelt het verhaal van haar verleden wat begint als zij 7 jaar is.Over het verhaal zelf zal ik nu niets schrijven in deze review om spoilers te voorkomen. Wat ik enorm sterk vond aan het boek was de beschrijving van de therapiesessies met Conor. In begrijpelijke taal weet Hayden de lezer helderheid te geven over hoe een therapie kan verlopen, hoe een therapeut kan werken en waarom een therapeut bepaalde handelingen juist wel of niet doet. De ontwikkeling die tijdens deze therapiesessies beschreven worden zijn mooi. Wat mij betreft had dit nog uitgebreider gemogen.Wat ik een tegenvaller vond, was dat er enorm veel aandacht uitging naar Laura en haar verhaal over het verleden wat behoorlijk wat zweverige momenten in zich had. Haar verhaal is door Hayden compleet uitgediept en het verhaal van Laura werd eigenlijk een apart verhaal in het boek. Dan waren er nog delen uitgewerkt van de verhalen die Laura had geschreven over haar verleden. Dit werd daarmee een derde diep uitgewerkte verhaallijn, bijna een fantasy-achtig verhaal. Ik heb niks tegen fantasy, sterker nog, zo op z’n tijd een mooi fantasy boek vind ik echt genieten. Maar vanuit de achterflaptekst had ik de verwachting dat het verhaal voornamelijk zou gaan over Conor en zijn therapie. Ik vond het dus jammer dat de verhaallijn van Laura meer op de voorgrond trad dan die van Conor.Wel vond ik het erg goed geschreven en met die reden vind ik het zeker 3 sterren waard. Geen topper voor 4 of 5 sterren door waarschijnlijk mijn verwachting die niet uitkwam.
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Reviews
Filipa
In fact the book is not bad or poorly written. The story is kind of funny and catch our attention.However, its not the style of Torey. Not at all... Taking into account that I'm used to her, since I read all of her books, this one left so much to be desired. No doubt that I liked much more her books portraying real scenes instead of fictitious ones.For me, it was too much history, too much fiction, too empty ...It could earn three stars, but given what Torey accustomed us, I think two stars is ok ...
Erika
First, let me say that normally I love Torey Hayden's writings. I've read many of her nonfiction novels about her own experiences in working with disturbed children. But I could not finish this book. The writing was well done, as always with Hayden. The synopsis leads you to believe it's mainly about an autistic child's therapy treatment. But the story got way too far away from this. The majority of the plot was centered around the mother's fantasy imagination as she grew up. I think Hayden would do better to stick to her non-fiction case studies.
Nicole
Torey Hayden - Overheard in a Dream / The Mechanical Cat Victoria Lynn Hayden, known as Torey L. Hayden, is a child psychologist, special education teacher, university lecturer and writer of non-fiction books based on her real-life experiences with teaching and counseling children with special needs Conor is nine and autistic, or at least this is what his mother, Laura, an aloof, self-absorbed novelist, thinks when she entrusts his care to child psychiatrist James Innes as a stop-gap while the family finds the boy a new residential placement. In contrast, Conor’s rancher father, embroiled in divorcing Laura, does not feel there is anything wrong with boy. Six year old sister Morgana insists Conor really does see ghosts.Only when Laura falls into her role as a storytellerdoes James gain access to the complex turmoil engulfing the family, learning of Laura’s own difficult childhood, full of loneliness and abrupt change which combined with vivid imagination to create the fantasy figure of Torgon, a woman with sacred powers, a sort of alter ego with whom Laura establishes a rapport so profound that it has affected not only her life but the lives of all those around her.Between his sessions with Conor and Laura’s haunting stories, James slowly uncovers a world where what is imagined is as real as what is physically present but is still not enough to contain the terrible truth that lies at the heart of Conor’s problems. TOREY says that although the story is entirely fiction, she wrote it to explore her own experiences with creativity. She had a very vivid fantasy life as a young child which started much the way Laura's did in the scene from the book and it carried on well into her twenties. She says that also, like Laura, she used to "drive people nuts" when she was an adolescent by making up scenarios and characters and "testing" them in real life to see if they were realistic.Originally THE MECHANICAL CAT was not accepted for publication in English. Now published in the UK titled OVERHEARD IN A DREAM.In rejecting the novel, her publisher told her this was because the book did not fit into an existing genre. It was actually described as "too novel". As a consequence, the book haSd its world debut in Sweden, followed a week later by the Italian publication and in Finland. Now published in Japanese, it has gone on to become a best seller in all four countries.
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