How is it possible for two people who don’t know each other to have some kind of mind link? This is the question you may end up asking yourself after reading Ingrid Weaver’s novel, Dream Shadows.
Dream Shadows is a story about a woman who has everything – a successful Fortune 500 business, wealth, property, etc. – except love, real love that could make her life something more meaningful. But Elizabeth Baylor Graye was raised by a manipulative, cold-hearted and ruthless father who taught her to be the same way, so she doesn’t believe in love. She believes in business, wealth and success. All that changed on the day she is attacked and left in a coma, where she struggles to regain some kind of control over herself and her life. While in a coma, she has dreams that are creations from the stories being read to her by a nurse or news stories she hears on TV, yet even as her dreams change, one thing remains constant. Actually, one person. That person is a singer named Rick, who is in every one of Elizabeth’s dreams. Who is this man she feels drawn to? And why is her connection to him so strong?
The bigger surprise is that Rick is actually a real person: An unknown country singer living in Oklahoma, who shares Elizabeth's dreams. The dreams become so intense for him that he starts developing feelings for his dream lady. Many times he ends up catching himself while thinking about her and trying to guess how she would act in certain situations. I had to laugh when, at one point, he reminded himself, "Elizabeth. Wasn't. Real." Even so, Elizabeth ends up seeing Rick as nothing more than "a figment of my imagination" once she realizes what is going on. How shocked they both end up feeling when, one day, they find out that they both really exist.
A good part of the first of the book is about Elizabeth’s various dreams, where she turns from a woman who "comes out with her fists flying" to a damsel in distress. Rick proves to be her knight in shining armor, rescuing her from one predicament or another. The fact that she and Rick share some kind of connection and realize that these are more than just dreams is what eventually softens Elizabeth’s heart and allows her to get more acquainted with this man.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s fiancé, Alan Rashotte, wants nothing more than to see her dead. I ended up thinking of this character as “evil Alan” because we eventually see just what kind of sleazebag this guy really is. He pretends to be the devoted fiancé at the clinic Elizabeth is a patient of, then the suffering boyfriend to a rich woman he has a fling with, all in an attempt to swindle both of them of their money.
But while “evil Alan” is trying to ruin Elizabeth’s world, her stepmother, Delaney, starts having a change of heart for the stepdaughter she was previously at war with. She starts to see Elizabeth in a whole new light, even stepping in when Alan brings a “suicide doctor” into Elizabeth’s room. This part of the story also held my interest, because I wanted to find out what happened between the two of them in the end.
After Elizabeth comes out of her coma, one would think her troubles are over now and life would go back to normal. But as Rick insists to her, she’s been given a second chance, so she can’t possibly try to go back to living her life the way she did before. Elizabeth does not take this advice because her drive for control is too strong, and that could mean the end for the dream lovers because “evil Alan” isn’t finished with them yet.
Dream Shadows was an engaging, gripping novel. It held my interest from beginning to end and I found it interesting how the outside events around the comatose Elizabeth influenced her dreams. The story does have a lot of dreams in it, but that’s to be expected given the plot, and there are not too many dreams as to destroy the reading experience of the novel. Additionally, the “break” from dreams through scenes of what went on outside Elizabeth’s coma world were refreshing and helped the story to keep moving along.
This novel also addressed the issue of reading to people while they are comatose. Often we wonder, can such a person hear us? Does it really stimulate their brain? Is it really any help? Perhaps any kind of contact with the outside world can benefit someone in a coma, even if it is just by holding their hand.
Dream Shadows is a great read for anyone interested in dreams. It is also a story to make readers think about the supposed “mind link” two people can share, and just what kind of positive changes it can bring to their lives.
Trapped in a coma, Elizabeth Graye lives only in her dreams...where she hears the music of country singer Rick Denning and meets him time and time again in her fantasies.
Rick Denning thought Elizabeth only existed in his mind. When his encounters with his dream woman invade his waking hours, he decides to find her, not realizing that there's someone who'd life nothing better than to send them both to eternal rest.