Book 16 on my “March to 100 for 2019″—Karen Thompson Walker: The Dreamers—A small college town battles a viral epidemic that triggers perpetual sleep.
On the surface, the novel is about a viral infection sweeping through a small, isolated, college town and the reactions from residents, media, the medical profession, and the government. The highly-contagious sickness slows the body down to a catatonic state, leaving the uninfected to watch those around them sink into a suspended animation state where they appear to have vivid dreams.
But the real meat of the story comes from the key characters, all people wishing to be something other than what they are. A shy college girl wanting to be socially popular. A privileged young man ashamed of his family’s extreme wealth. A lonely professor who watching the love of his life deteriorate from the horrors of Alzheimer’s. A young couple with an infant fighting to keep their marriage alive. A conspiracy-obsessed father struggling with family bonds as he raises his two girls alone. A psychiatrist wishing she could be home with her young daughter.
If they get what they want, will they consider it worth the cost?
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