Author: Cat Winters.
Expected publication: October 14th 2014 by Amulet Books
Cat Winters – In the shadow of blackbirds.
Source: ARC copy from the publisher, thanks!
Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women.
I had high expectations for The cure for dreaming, because I fell in love with In the shadow of blackbirds. I love how her work is combined with pictures to make the atmosphere complete. The art and photographs match with the story. There is something haunting about the things she writes and Cat has found the perfect way to create an interesting setting.
Olivia is everything you could ask for in a character. She is stubborn, headstrong en she won’t be silenced or dominated by males. She is part of the suffragist movement and she will do everything to ensure she – and every other woman – can vote in the future. This is unacceptable for her father, who wants her to be docile, obedient and most of all silent like a ‘good woman’. There is no place for women in society; they should take care of the household and children.
Olivia crosses the line when her father finds out she was part of a demonstration. He is afraid she is going to destroy his name and his career as a dentist. That is how Henri Reverie comes into her life. He is a hypnotist and Olivia’s father wants him to alter her personality. She must sees the world, women and men for what they are. She can’t speak her dangerous thoughts and instead, she will say ‘all is well’ Her father has no idea that with his decision, Olivia becomes even more hell bent on finding her voice and getting her rights.
It was frustrating to see how belittling everyone is when it comes to women – and it’s sad to realize that it’s still that way sometimes. Women aren’t equal to men and it’s great that Olivia fights against this idea. I love it when characters are strong and confident like her. Even with her mind hypnotized, Olivia isn’t going to back down. It was interesting to see how her father’s decision backfires.
Besides Olivia, I also really liked Henri. The more you find out about him and his motives, the more you sympathize with him. He was a bit mysterious in the beginning, but it was easy to warm up for him. It was clear he saw Olivia as his equal and their unusual friendship that slowly grows into more was heart-warming. It made the ending a little bittersweet, but also fitting for the story. I must admit that it took 0,5 of the rating, but that is very personal and I know a lot of people will like how it ends.