Second half of ‘Dream’ is a bit nightmarish |

Second half of ‘Dream’ is a bit nightmarish

Terri Schlichenmeyer

If you are a parent, you probably can’t imagine life without your kids. If they’re gone, you can’t wait until they come to visit. If they’re at home, you joke about the day they’ll finally leave, but you secretly dread the idea of an empty house.What would you do to get your kids to pay attention to you? In the new novel, “Drives Like a Dream” by Porter Shreve (c.2005, Houghton Mifflin), Lydia Modine tells a whopper of a lie.It’s a beautiful day in May, and Cy Modine is getting married. That should bother his ex-wife, Lydia, but she seems rather relieved. Cy was never much of a go-getter, always dreaming about the next opportunity. Lydia was the one who held the family together, and her writing career was more stable than any job Cy ever held. The thing that bothers Lydia about this weekend is that her kids are only in town for their father’s wedding, and when that’s over, they’ll be leaving; Davy to Chicago, Ivan to D.C., and Jessica to Oregon.Lydia’s father was a famous designer of cars for GM years ago, but he never had time for his family. Lydia was an only child, and she vowed that she would always be available for her children. But would her children be available for her?So, while Cy is marrying a woman almost half his age, Lydia is off distracting herself, doing research for her new book. At a museum, she meets Norm, an odd eco-thinker who rants about environmental issues, but despite that he and Lydia are of such different personalities, they strike up a casual email relationship. Lydia is flattered at the idea of a friendship, but Norm seems, well, abnormal.When Lydia realizes that she’s more distant from her children than she wants to be both emotionally and geographically and she realizes that Cy and his young bride could raise another family, Lydia concocts a story that she knows will bring her children together at home one more time. But how can one gracefully get out of a lie that’s grown to an enormous, life-changing size?I loved the first half of this book. Loved it. Getting to know Lydia was a pleasure, and I couldn’t put “Drives Like a Dream” down. But when she decides to deceive her children in a lie that she couldn’t possibly keep going, I felt terribly betrayed. I would have been furious with my own mother if she had dragged me halfway across the country on an expensive goose-chase for a man who didn’t exist, and I never expected Lydia’s kids to react as author Shreve has them react. There is a tiny little surprise in the last chapters of this book, but it’s only a blip on a screen of disappointment.Did I ruin the ending for you? No, I don’t think so. Go ahead and read this book if you want to, but I think “Drives Like a Dream” reads like a let-down. VT

Support Local Journalism

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User