The Good Dream

The Good Dream

by Donna VanLiere


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The Good Dream 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 89 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading The Good Dream and it is an amazing book. I finished it in one day because I could not put it down. I absolutely love when a book just really transports you back in time, and you feel like you are actually there at that specific moment in time. This book took me back to 1950, to the life of Ivorie Walker, and the little boy who she finds stealing from her garden. Her friends and her family were just awesome, it was a beautiful story, i just absolutely loved it. Its the kind of story that makes you laugh one moment and cry the next. Very powerful. Oh, and a teeny tiny character, hot dot, was just one of my favorites. So funny! But really, i cant single her out because there were so many more who had bit parts and were equally funny. And sorry, i'm giving things away, but at the end, "its so hot my chikens are laying hard boiled eggs"? It made me laugh AND cry because it was such a poignant moment. I would recommend this book to absolutely everyone, it was just really one of the best i have ever read. Thanks, Donna, hope you are working on your next book! Excellent!
BobGBG More than 1 year ago
“The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean; not to affect your reader, but to affect him precisely as you wish.” --Robert Louis Stevenson Donna VanLiere is an artist with words. I have to admit I don't read fiction all that often, mostly because it's hard for me to suspend disbelief and stay inside the world the author created. That's why I was surprised (and my wife was astonished) that I entered Donna VanLiere's world in The Good Dream on page 1 and didn't leave until her final word. I was on a wonderful cruise to Belize when I opened the book. Needless to say, I missed a full day of the cruise since I became so captured by the book that I didn't stop until I was finished all 320 pages. While I probably should have been filling up plates of food at the buffet, I was walking the blistering hot dusty roads of Tennessee in the 1950's, right where VanLiere planned for me to walk...and right beside the characters she planned for me to walk with. (That's much better than a plate of cruise food. Particularly after the mouth-watering references to Ivorie's freshly made apple pies.) (Dang. That makes me hungry all over again.) To paraphrase Stevenson, she not only affected me, she affected me precisely as she wished. VanLiere's dedication to authentic characters and their authentic conversations makes the story's suspenseful "twisty" plot a huge bonus because I could have spent hours just being a "fly on the wall" and "listening in" on the normal conversations of Ivorie and her friends (and foes.) My only advice is to get the book on a rainy day from which you want to escape, not on a sun-filled cruise from which you paid to escape to!
SuzyWeibel More than 1 year ago
I was fortunate enough to get an advance copy of this novel from my friend Donna VanLiere and I devoured it within several days. I used to be strictly a fiction reader and yet I find myself drawn more these days to non-fiction, likely due to the proliferation of hopelessness offered in so much fiction today. I want to find some hope (albeit realistic) in a story, and I want to find characters I can develop some empathy for. Too much modern fiction offers neither. Donna is a friend, so it is a delight to see her and meet others she knows in her fiction. She writes with the same southern flavor I find in her home, her day to day sense of humor, and even on her Facebook page. As I completely appreciate Donna's sense of humor, this makes her slice-of-life fictional style quite satisfying to read. Donna creates characters at once ornery, compassionate, broken, derisive, helpless, and driven... sounds a lot like my own family members. I appreciate the fact the bad guys are bad - not at all sugar coated. It is as if she has perhaps come face to face with evil during the course of her own life, which of course she has. Some of her villains, too, are merely misguided and wounded souls. Nowhere do we find a protagonist who is flawless. These are all key character development points for me. This is a real story comprised of REAL pain, REAL risk, and REAL redemption. I don't want to live in a world that is so dark the light cannot penetrate it, because personally I do not believe such a darkness exists. Neither does Donna VanLiere. The light shines in the darkness, and even if the darkness does not comprehend, it is compromised and truly dark no more. Thus we have here a tale of darkness penetrated by the light and restoration of hope, and that is always going to be a good dream.
Guy_G More than 1 year ago
"The Good Dream" is a good read! Background info – “The Angels of Morgan Hill” (2006) by Donna VanLiere, set in 1947 Morgan Hill, Tennessee, is currently my favorite book. “The Good Dream” (2012) is set in 1950 Morgan Hill, Tennessee, so I was looking forward to reading about some of the beloved characters from the earlier book. Also, I’ve found that I get emotionally attached to Donna VanLiere’s characters more than any other author and expected that to happen again. I was not disappointed in either case in this new book. I do admit that I didn’t think I would like this book about halfway through it. It’s heart-rending to read about child abuse, and there was a romance that was a little boring to me, but I stuck with it and was rewarded with a very satisfying full story. Ivorie Walker is a 30-year old single woman that has the courage to do what’s right by facing pure evil when she learns about the boy raiding her vegetable garden. It’s an old superstition that bottles tied to the branches of a tree are supposed to catch evil spirits that live in the tree and capture them inside the bottles. Ivorie hopes to perform a similar function and dispel evil spirits torturing an innocent soul. A story that shouldn’t be missed! Although “The Good Dream” can definitely be read without reading “The Angels of Morgan Hill”, I would suggest reading the earlier book first as an introduction to some of the characters and their story.
gquilter More than 1 year ago
Donna isn't just for Christmas anymore! This book was great, tugs at your heart in places and heartwarming all at the same time. The characters are real and complex. The story flows easily and is always ineresting. I didn't want to put it down. I think it can be enjoyed by men, women and mature teens and is great for a book club discussion. Donna captured the 50's of the South, it's laid back life style and it's secrets to keep you wanting more. I loved it!
meganm922 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I won this book via Goodreads First Reads.This book was really good. It was a page turner and written eloquently. I thought the author captured the voice of the south very well. The narrator, Ivorie, actually reminded me a bit of Sookie Stackhouse in the way that she was southern, bubbly, and not the norm compared to the people around. I suppose she was much like Sookie in the ways that most of her friends disapprove of her choices, but she stands by them anyway.I honestly wasn¿t sure what would happen in the book, so it kept me guessing. I loved Ivorie¿s personality, her big heart, and her dog, Sally. She opens her heart to a small, filthy, and abused child. This is such a tender southern story. I don¿t read much southern fiction, but I thoroughly enjoyed this story. All of the characters were well described and I felt like I knew them all. The narration switches between Ivorie and the boy, and later, Ivorie¿s brother Henry. When Ivorie takes in the boy, I was surprised by the hostility of the townsfolk, and even more surprised by some of the characters who were supportive. I tend to avoid stories set in such times where women weren¿t really seen as equal, because a lot of times, the women in the book disappoint me. I love to see female characters challenge the norm, which is probably why I loved Ivorie so much. While still sticking to the tight knit community feeling that I¿m sure those towns had back in those days, the author manages to present a female character with guts. I would definitely recommend this book to others, as it was well written and enjoyable, set in a believable small Tennessee town in the 1950¿s. Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've read for quite some time. The writing is absolutely beautiful and so evocative of the time and place that you feel as if you have stepped into an entirely different world. The characters are well-developed, and I love how the story is told from the alternating viewpoints of the main characters. When I don't want a story to end, I know I've encountered a truly good book. I'm recommending this book to all of my friends!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh how I loved this book. I wasn't ready for it to end. Beautiful story. Looking forward to more from the author.
MahMah More than 1 year ago
I would have given this book FIVE stars rather than FOUR if the author had come up with a different title and different cover design. In my humble opinion, this is an excellent example of the old adage that sez: "Don't judge a book by it's cover". The story itself is beautifully conceived and the characters totally believable. I was especially delighted with the ending! If the macho rancher-boyfriend had ultimately turned into the kind of man the heroine of this story wanted him to be I'd have given this book only ONE star.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was about an unuaual woman, a woman who was living on her own, in a time when it was'nt common to do so, but circumstances had put her in this place. And then one day her life crossed paths with a boy, and changed them both. there are many interesting characters in the town where she lives, and a mystery to solve. There are great obstacles to overcome before the young woman finds her own strength, and thereby, her own real happiness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book - had to finish it in one day. Liked everything about it - style of writing - story - held my attention all the way through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well done in a different time, reflecting rural issues.
luvtoread2 More than 1 year ago
Heart-tugging. The author managed to make me cry and laugh at the same time. Great story and wonderful characters.
Staycee19 More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book to anyone that wants a quick, easy read that is not too complicated.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Good Dream is a great, easy read that draws you into its world within the first few pages.   Evocative of the south in the 50's, the voices of the book also seem natural and authentic.  The main character is an interesting character whose story is told with a nice dose of spunk and humor. This provides a  balance to the emotionally charged storyline, which alternated between sweet, heart-wrenching and inspiring.  The story itself is a beautiful one, and one that would resonate with nearly anyone.   And again, because of the voice and tone of the book, there is enough levity to offset some of the heavier subject matter.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book very much. An easy and fast read with just enough mystery and twists to keep you moving through it. The characters are engaging and believable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book! One of the best I have read in a long time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful story..great characters..uplifting..could not put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a lovely story about two lonely people finding each other: An "old maid", who didn't really need anyone until her mother passed away and a seven year old boy, who is badly abused. She finds him stealing from her garden, finds out about the abuse and then rescues him. She faces problems- putting her relationship with a man in jeopardy, people scoffing her, and a person who seems to not want her to find out who the boy is. It is heartwarming, heartbreaking, and incredibly beautiful.
Marci0 More than 1 year ago
Great Book!! Recommend highly!! Great story line and characters. Donna always writes the best stories:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful yet heartbreaking. Laugh out loud Southern humor yet serious. This story was unlike anything I have read for so long and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I am fifteen and know my friends would fall in love with this book—yet I also know anyone from my fiftysome year old piano teacher to my grandpa would love this incredible story as well. Ivorie Walker's simple yet heartwarming compassion was amazing and the deep love she had for a little boy with a cleft palate who could barely even make a noise was so neat to watch as the story developed and soared! Please consider reading this inspirational story that will leave you smiling—it's more than a feel good book—and you will realize what I mean. The story of a small town that came together for a little boy. I loved it!
dto More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because of the front cover illustration. Something I never do but because I have a bottle tree in my garden was simply drawn to it. What a wonderful story followed. The derermination and courage of the main charecters, the flaws that came to light as the story unfolded, the tears, the hurt and sadness but in the end the joy. Do read this book you will not regret it.