Publisher: Inanna PublicationsPaperback
Source: Author/Publisher via TLC Book Tours for an honest review
Alastair Luce is a dreamer, one of three who tell this tale.
A Canadian expat in the 1950s, he lives in a New York City suburb with his wife, Nora, a passionate American who misses the excitement of wartime life and finds an outlet — and a lover — during the Red scare. Alastair's an artist, a quiet man who paints houses for a living, fears atomic holocaust, drinks too much and worries about his suffering child Grace. Just before the accident that kills his daughter's best friend Todd, he offers a ride to their teenage neighbour, Claire Bernard. She continues the story as a witness to tragedy, a wry observer of suburban mores and a compassionate friend of Alastair, whose talent and politics she'd long admired. Yet in the era of Vietnam, she's not prepared for his love or his anguish as she marries and leaves for Canada. In Toronto, it's Alastair's exiled daughter Grace who speaks, giving voice to her fury, an artist who works to “burn” the city down with brilliant colour, who resents Claire for hurting her dad, and still grieves the loss of young Todd. Yet Grace, Claire and Alastair are bound together by their history, and a crisis draws their painful stories to a climax. It's then that Grace ventures homeward for the first time, into a startling vision of the unknown.
Here Comes the Dreamer is a moving account of how a tragic accident changes, and haunts, the intertwined lives of a painter, his gifted and troubled daughter, and the young woman who befriends them. It astutely probes the moods and mores of suburban America in the ’50s and ’60s, and later, of Toronto. Combining rich lyrical language, inspired narration, and sensitive psychological insight, this is fiction of the most darkly illuminating, deeply touching kind. —Allan Briesmaster, author of Against the Flight of Spring and Confluences
Giangrande’s writing is warm and intelligent, honest and kind. Here Comes the Dreamer is filled with the richness of character and intersecting lives. —Irene Guilford, author of The Embrace
Here Comes the Dreamer by Carole Giangrande is a short, but powerful novel. At time it reads more like poetry than prose - especially during Alistair's story. The three sections of the novel are from three different perspectives and between the three stories, the reader is able to see the more complete story.
Alastair is a painter who makes his living by painting houses. He is also an artist in a bad marriage with a woman who doesn't understand him or their daughter. It is clear this marriage is doomed from the start. There will also be another, greater tragedy which will shape the rest of all their lives.
Claire is a girl from the neighborhood who is kind to Alistair's daughter Grace. She also has a crush on Alistair - Mr. Luce. Claire's section of the novel is a shift in perspective and through her memories we learn much more about the tragic events that unfolded.
The final section is from Grace's point of view. She is grown and has become a well known street artist. She is also quite troubled.
I don't want to explain too much about the plot -- this novel should be experienced, not described. I found the story to be heartbreaking for a number of reasons, but also honest and sensitive. It looks at mental illness, marriage and relationships, family, the aftermath of war and friendship. All are handled with the same quiet, kind manner. I would recommend Here Come the Dreamer to anyone who appreciates literary fiction.
A couple of favorite lines:
"Colour smouldered inside his fingers and he could feel the force of it, electric under the stillness of everything he touched." p. 1
"He worked alone and as he painted houses, he could feel colour humming under the bright surfaces of everything he touched as if colour were a sound, an eerie music." p. 15
About Carole GiangrandeBorn and raised in the New York City area, Carole Giangrande is a Toronto-based novelist and author of eight books, including the award-winning novella, A Gardener On The Moon, the novels An Ordinary Star and A Forest Burning, a short story collection, Missing Persons and the novella, Midsummer. Her new novella, Here Comes The Dreamer, will be published in September. A former broadcast-journalist, she worked for CBC Radio (Canada's public broadcaster) as co-host of the popular Radio Noon program. She's read her fiction at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre, at the Banff Centre for the Arts (as an Artist-in-Residence), the University of Toronto, on radio and at numerous public venues. Her fiction, articles and reviews have appeared in Canada’s major journals and newspapers and her 50-part literary podcast Words to Go has been downloaded over 20,000 times in 30 countries. She is currently at work on a novel.
Visit Carole's website at www.carolegiangrande.com, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Carole’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, September 29th: Lit and Life
Wednesday, September 30th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Thursday, October 1st: 5 Minutes for Books
Monday, October 5th: The many thoughts of a reader
Tuesday, October 6th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, October 12th: she treads softly
Tuesday, October 13th: A Book Geek
Wednesday, October 14th: Worth Getting in Bed For
Thursday, October 15th: Dwell in Possibility
Tuesday, October 20th: Raven Haired Girl
TBD: Books and Bindings