The Dream Keeper’s Daughter

Written by Emily Colin
Review by Jackie Drohan

A relaxed pace and descriptive indulgence characterize this tantalizing tale of supernatural time travel. The story opens in Barbados, where archaeologist Isabel Griffin gets a startling phone call from her daughter’s father, Max. It’s startling because Max had vanished shortly after her daughter, Finn was conceived, nearly ten years earlier, and his telephone number had long been disconnected.

The perspectives shift between Isabel and Max, and we learn the truth about his disappearance—eight years earlier he fell through a chilling time portal back to the early 19th century, where he has been desperately struggling to prevent a potentially brutal slave uprising. The plot evokes the historical Nat Turner revolt.

The thin veil between the present and the past—or perhaps between the living and the dead?—is a haunting concept. We gradually learn that the same gateway had swallowed Isabel’s mother years earlier, and Isabel must discover its nature before the same fate beckons her daughter, while she struggles with the unexplained loss of those most dear to her.

The fragility of time and love is a compelling theme. Readers, too, must permit themselves to be swallowed into the rich detail and meandering pace of the novel to fully benefit from its unity of effect. This is well worth doing, however. A fine series could be extended upon this story, and fans will hope for it.