In an Absent Dream, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: In an Absent Dream, Wayward Children Book 4, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: In an Absent Dream, Wayward Children Book 4, Seanan McGuire

Fantasy: In an Absent Dream, Wayward Children Book 4, Seanan McGuire

 

Katherine Lundy is a quiet child who likes knowing the rules and knowing what is expected from her. That is not to say, though, that the rules and expectations of this world are ideal for her. They are not. For some children who do not quite fit in to this world, a doorway opens to another, one they are more suited to. For Katherine, or as she prefers to be called, “Lundy,” that door is opened to the Goblin Market.

 

The Goblin Market rules are simple, although not always easy to follow. Lundy thrives in this environment, especially with the help of her friend Moon. But the most important rule of the Market is to make a choice between worlds by the time you turn 18. And for Lundy, that choice becomes more and more difficult.

 

Lundy is a character we meet earlier in the series, and this is her backstory. A prequel to the earlier books, McGuire uses this to introduce yet another world to the Wayward Children series. The Goblin Market rules are inviolable. When you understand and accept them, they provide structure and comfort. But if you try to subvert them in some way, the consequences can be permanent. Lundy loves the Market–but she also loves her sister back home. Eighteen seems like a long way off, until it isn’t.

 

There are a lot of us who don’t feel at home in this world, who would love to see a doorway opened to another world more suited to our sensibilities. What McGuire captures so well is the tension between the two worlds. I may be better suited to another world, but my wife and my children and my grandchildren are in this one. Would I give them up to live in a world more to my liking? Could I really be at home in a place that was not home for them as well? Every choice we make creates a new world for us right here, and it is natural to wonder whether another choice might have created a better world. But the choices I’ve made have brought me three wonderful children and (so far) three wonderful grandchildren. Would I change that in the hopes that I might fit better into a different world? That type of dilemma is what Lundy faces.

Disney has spoiled us with their take on fairy tales. We expect them to all end “happily ever after.” Traditional fairy tales are hardly so sugary. McGuire gives us modern fairy tales that dispense with the artificial sweetener. They are straight and sometimes bitter, but always well crafted and thought provoking. In an Absent Dream is a fairy tale, but don’t expect that the door to another world will solve every problem. Sometimes, the doors open to new problems.

 

Also see by Seanan McGuire —

Book Review: The Brightest Fell, October Daye series #11, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, Ghost Roads Book 2, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Middlegame, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Night and Silence, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Sparrow Hill Road, Seanan McGuire

 

Book Review: In an Absent Dream, Wayward Children Book 4, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: In an Absent Dream, Wayward Children Book 4, Seanan McGuire

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