Well, this book is destined for greatness–I smell major awards and accolades! The Dreamer was recommended to me at our local bookstore and I was absolutely transfixed by the beauty in this very simple story. Though based on the early life and writings of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, this is a work of fiction, and a beautiful one at that. This book reminded me of one of my all time favorites, The Book Thief.
Now The Dreamer is far less complex than The Book Thief, but both works place much significance on words and their power. Words literally come to life for Neftali, the main character in The Dreamer. “The words he had written wiggled off the page and escaped from the drawer. The letters stacked themselves, one on top of the other. Their towers reached higher and higher until they stood majestic and tall, surrounding Neftali in a city of promise.”
When Neftali’s writing notebooks are burned by his father, he is devastated. “His thoughts and cares and affections grew singed and curled. The remnants of his soul floated into the sky like gray snowflakes.”
There were so many moments as I was reading this book that I wanted to jot down a little gem I had just read, things I wanted to remember and re-read. Little thought provoking snippets such as: “Which is sharper? The hatchet that cuts down dreams? Or the scythe that clears a path for another?” Or: “Where is the heaven of lost stories?”
Readers of all ages who are passionate about poetry, about freedom of the press and freedom of speech, about those who speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, about those who will not be silenced and those passionate about words themselves will love The Dreamer. It is a bookshelf must-have, and one to be read again and again.