ARC · book review · NetGalley · St. Martin's Press

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

The Dream Daughter

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: October 2nd, 2018

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Where you can find The Dream Daughter: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

From bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes an irresistible new novel. 

When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps . Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before—and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back. 

Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby’s heart. Something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Caroline has. Something that will need a kind of strength and courage that Caroline never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline’s part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

A rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother’s quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.

My review:

This is another book that took my breath away while reading it. I went into reading The Dream Daughter with little expectations. From what I read in the blurb, I thought it was going to be your typical time travel book. While it was that, it was also so much more. That is what made me love this book. I would also warn, please read with tissues. You are going to need them.

The Dream Daughter starts off in Nag’s Head Island, North Carolina in 1970. Caroline is widowed and pregnant. She found out that her unborn daughter has a fatal heart defect (for that era). This is a devastating blow since her husband was killed in Vietnam 7 months earlier. Then her brother-in-law drops a bombshell. He tells her that he can save her baby. But to do it, he needs to send her forward in time. To the year 2001, where there is a new surgery that could save her baby. Desperate, Carly agrees. But things go sideways when the baby is born and needs to be in NICU longer than expected. A series of events forces Carly to jump back to 1970. Desperate to get her baby, she jumps back to the future. Except it is the year 2013, her daughter is a preteen and has been adopted by a well to do family. While there, Carly discovers something that shakes her to the core. Something that makes her chose between staying with her daughter or going back to 1970.

I liked Carly. First, she was determined to save her child. As any mother would be. I can’t imagine being told that my child had an incurable heart defect. Her disbelief when Hunter told her about the surgery and what she would have to do to get there came off the pages. I would have said the same thing if my brother-in-law told me that he was a time traveler from the future. I liked how she chose to believe Hunter. All because she wanted her baby to have a chance at life.

The scenes in the NICU broke my heart. My youngest daughter was sent to NICU shortly after she was born and spent a week there. A short visit compared to some of the babies but still, a stressful time in my life. Every emotion that I had been mirrored by Carly. My heart broke for her. The baby was the last tie to her husband, who was killed in Vietnam.

I liked how the author explained how time traveling was discovered and used. I thought it was interesting that the travelers had to step off of things to get to where they were going. Carly had to step off a pier, a stone bridge in Central Park and a tree house to reach the portals. I also loved the 5 times rule. The traveler could only travel 5 times. If they travel a 5th time, they disappear. No one knows where the traveler goes or if they are alive.

I should mention Hunter, since he was a major part of getting Carly to the future. I thought he was great. What he did was out of love for Carly and her unborn baby. He didn’t take into consideration that so many things would go wrong with Joanna. His worry about when Carly would come back was palpable. He couldn’t go fetch Carly because that would be his 5th trip. So he was stuck and the worrying was taking a toll on him. I loved teenage him. I was giggling to myself as I read those scenes because I could picture it in my head. I have 2 sisters that would be his age and I remember how they were.

The last half of the book broke my heart. When Carly jumped to 2013 to find Joanna, I didn’t know what to expect. I was ready to find out that Joanna was in an awful home with parents who didn’t care about her. It would have made taking Joanna back to 1970 a lot easier. But, instead, she had parents that loved her. They gave her the world and then some. Of course, they were a little suspicious of Carly when she came into the scene but they soon warmed up to her. I did think, for a while, that Carly was going to stay in 2013. But that didn’t happen.

The end of the book was surprising. There was a twist to the plot line that I didn’t see coming. While it didn’t come out of left field, it still left me shocked. I also understood why Carly made the decision she did. The epilogue was the most surprising. Not going to say what but I will say that I love it when things come in full circle!!!

What I liked about The Dream Daughter:

A) Carly. She had an inner strength that I loved

B) Hunter. He did what he thought was best for Carly.

C) Joanna. OMG, I loved her. She was hilarious and reminded me of my daughter.

What I disliked about The Dream Daughter:

A) The NICU scenes. They brought back some unpleasant memories for me

B) Carly’s decision at the end of the book

C) Hunter’s mother. She was cold.

I would give The Dream Daughter an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is some mild violence. There is some mild language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

There are no triggers for The Dream Daughter.

I would reread The Dream Daughter. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Dream Daughter.

All opinions stated in this review of The Dream Daughter are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

5 thoughts on “The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

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