Summary: After Olivia Mead is volunteered to participate in a hypnotist’s show, she finds that she is one of the most sought after girls in Portland. After the men watch Young Monsieur Henri Reverie put Olivia under his hypnosis, they see her as an ideal woman for the 1900s. That is, they think she has a weak, submissive mind and a personality that is predisposed to obey. In fact, Olivia’s father hires the Young Monsieur for some private sessions, telling Henri to hypnotize Olivia out of her thoughts about women’s suffrage, the right to an education, and for her to say “All is well” whenever she gets upset. The hypnosis takes, but Henri does only the bare minimum of what he’s hired to do, and soon he and Olivia start working together to try and unlock the minds and hearts of the people in Portland. Yet, Olivia’s overbearing father, a persistent suitor with grabby hands and a vicious mouth, and the women who are part of the anti-suffragist movement all stand in their way to freedom. Through clever tactics of giving everyone what they ask for, Olivia and Henri find ways to speak out and lead others to new ideas.
Review: The Cure for Dreaming is one of those books that will make you say, “I just want to finish this chapter,” and three chapters later you find yourself making that exact same statement. Winters incorporates historical elements—everything from the temperance movement and transportation to the tools used in dentistry during the 1900s—throughout the novel, making The Cure for Dreaming a novel that inspires, enrages, and educates its readers. The story moves rapidly, the characters develop realistically, and the strong feminist stance Olivia takes throughout the novel epitomizes the rebellious spirit so many of us love.
Bottom Line: This books is a cure for many ills