The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr
Paperback Publication Date: February 18, 2020
Hardcover & eBook; 336 Pages
When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is found dead in his bath one morning in 1850, arrangements are left to his estranged cousin, historian turned postmortem photographer Robert Highstead. De Bonne’s will instructs that he should be buried in a stained glass chapel set on the Shropshire moors, built to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. It has since been locked to all outsiders—especially the rabid, cultlike fans of de Bonne’s final book, The Lost History of Dreams.
Only Ada’s grief-stricken niece, Isabelle, holds the key, but she refuses to open the chapel unless Robert agrees to her bargain: Before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record the real story behind her aunt’s ill-fated marriage to the poet over the course of five nights—a story that is both love story and ghost story.
Blurring the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death, The Lost History of Dreams is “a surrealist, haunting tale of suspense where every prediction turns out to be merely a step toward a bigger reveal” (Booklist).
“Waldherr writes that ‘love stories are ghost stories in disguise.’ This one, happily, succeeds as both.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Praise for The Lost History of Dreams“Scheherazade-like … haunting… Waldherr writes that ‘love stories are ghost stories in disguise.’ This one, happily, succeeds as both.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “An unexpected delight that grows steadily more compelling as its pages fly by.” —Booklist
“A sensual, twisting gothic tale that embraces Victorian superstition much in the tradition of A.S. Byatt’s Possession, Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.”—BookPage
“Eerily atmospheric and gorgeously written, The Lost History of Dreams is a Gothic fairy-tale to savor.” – Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of THE ALICE NETWORK and THE HUNTRESS
“The Lost History of Dreams is a dark, shimmering gem of a novel, glittering with love lost, secrets kept, and long-buried truths revealed. Wonder, memory, death and passion haunt every page of Kris Waldherr’s powerhouse Gothic debut.” – Greer Macallister, bestselling author of THE MAGICIAN’S LIE and WOMAN 99
“Brooding, romantic, and thoughtful, The Lost History of Dreams is a rare bird in that it shines throughout with wit. I loved every page of it.” – Erika Swyler, bestselling author of THE BOOK OF SPECULATION and LIGHT FROM OTHER STARS
“With luminous prose, stunning poetry and a fascinating cast of characters, Waldherr weaves a wonderfully atmospheric tale. Not to be missed!” – Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME and THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER
“A riveting, addictive read. Sarah Waters fans will be entranced. – Mary Sharratt, author of ECSTASY and DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHING HILL
“A novel of haunting mystery and passion reminiscent of Wuthering Heights and Byatt’s Possession.” – Crystal King, author of FEAST OF SORROW and THE CHEF’S SECRET
“An atmospheric tale of lost love, family secrets, and an inquiry into how our own histories define us, I relished every poetic page.” – Heather Webb, international bestselling author of LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS and THE PHANTOM’S APPRENTICE
"With beautiful prose and poetry, Waldherr weaves a darkly seductive Gothic tale of love, art, death, and obsession. You’ll want to keep reading this one late into the night.” – Alyssa Palombo, author of THE SPELLBOOK OF KATRINA VAN TASSEL
“A sumptuous feast for all the senses.” – Clarissa Harwood, author of IMPOSSIBLE SAINTS and BEAR NO MALICE
My introduction to Gothic fiction was with the romances of Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart and I eagerly awaited their newest books to be published. I loved the big, gloomy houses; the handsome,brooding heroes with hidden secrets; and the young heroines who couldn't help but be drawn to those mysterious men. Mystery and intrigue were usually a part of the plots and The Lost History of Dreams certainly fits this description. There are deaths, a glass chapel hidden in the woods, doomed romances, and yes, ghosts. One of the characters even mentions that "love stories are ghost stories in disguise."
The story opens in 1850 London and it centers around Robert Highstead, his deceased wife Sida, his famous cousin Hugh de Bonne who has suddenly died, and Hugh's deceased wife Ada. There is also Isabelle, Ada's niece, and as the story progresses, there is a mystery about Isabelle's true identity and just how she could possibly know all of the details of Hugh and Ada's marriage. As a postmortem photographer Robert often seems caught between life and death and both he and Isabelle suffer guilt in the deaths of their loved ones. Is it possible for them to work through their individual grief and move on? Will Robert finally understand that Sida is really gone? Is forgiveness possible for two lost and hurting souls?
Lost love, unusual happenings, rich historical detail, and determining what is true and what is imaginary...all of these add to the charm of this story. If you enjoy Gothic fiction, you will certainly find yourself enthralled with The Lost History of Dreams.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. There was no obligation for a positive review. I am voluntarily sharing my honest thoughts in this review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
About the Author
Kris Waldherr’s books for adults and children include The Lost History of Dreams, Bad Princess, Doomed Queens, and The Book of Goddesses. The Lost History of Dreams received a Kirkus starred review and was called "an unexpected delight" by Booklist. The New Yorker praised Doomed Queens as “utterly satisfying” and “deliciously perverse.” The Book of Goddesses was a One Spirit/Book-of-the-Month Club’s Top Ten Most Popular Book. Her picture book Persephone and the Pomegranate was lauded by the New York Times Book Review for its “quality of myth and magic.” Her fiction has won fellowships from the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts, and a works-in-progress reading grant from Poets & Writers.
As a visual artist, Waldherr is the creator of the Goddess Tarot, which has a quarter of a million copies in print. She has had illustrations published as greeting cards, book covers, and in calendars and magazines. Her art has been exhibited in many galleries and museums including the Ruskin Library, the Mazza Museum of International Art from Picture Books, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Kris Waldherr works and lives in Brooklyn in a Victorian-era house with her husband, their young daughter, and a very vocal Bengal cat.
Blog Tour Schedule
Review at Tales from the Book Dragon
Saturday, March 14 Review at 100 Pages a Day
Monday, March 16 Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Tuesday, March 17 Review at Clarissa Reads it All
Thursday, March 19 Review at YA, It's Lit
Review at Older & Smarter
Friday, March 20 Review at Donna's Book Blog
Sunday, March 22 Review at Historical Graffiti
Tuesday, March 24 Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat
Wednesday, March 25 Interview at Jorie Loves A Story
Thursday, March 26 Review at Books and Zebras
Saturday, March 28 Review at Nurse Bookie
Monday, March 30 Review at Jorie Loves A Story
Tuesday, March 31 Review at Passages to the Past
To celebrate the paperback publication of The Lost History of Dreams, Kris is offering an exclusive blog tour giveaway of some of her most popular publications! The collection includes an autographed copy of The Lost History of Dreams paperback, a Goddess Tarot deck, a Sacred World Oracle deck, a hardcover of Bad Princess, and a teaser booklet of Doomed Queens. Retail value $75. Giveaway ends 3/31/2020. US only.