Can a man with a haunting past truly bring bright futures to those that expose their deepest dreams and desires to him?
In Martine Fournier Watson’s novel, The Dream Peddler, Robert Owens, the dream peddler rolls into town during one of its darkest hours: the Dawson family has lost a child. Immediately, one is able to see how this small town is connected and its occupants are supportive of one another but as the story slowly progresses, it becomes clear that there is more to these small-town folk than initially thought; in fact, the depth of each of these characters is exposed brilliantly as Martine Fournier Watson allows their deepest desires to become known.
One-by-one Owens is approached by the people of the town to purchase their guaranteed dreams; the requests vary, some of which include future loves, nightmares, and the power to delete ones dreams all together. Owens warns each customer that, despite his guarantee, each dream is a manifestation of that point in their life; the events that occur can be changed and modified based off all the customer encounters. As a result, many of the townspeople begin questioning the dream they purchased and begin to view those they see on a daily basis in a new light.
Many townspeople believe in the power of the dream peddler as he gives them the faith and hope that they have been searching for to keep living their not-so-typical lives. Until the day that Owens predicted comes and there is one moment, one decision, one nightmare that turns the town against the man that once gave them the hope to keep dreaming.
With the spread of the nightmare, Owens has to determine whether the little hope he has left to give is enough to fight the demons that haunt him from his past and present, leaving the question: Can he really be the one who gives the people something to believe in or is he truly just another man who rolled into town to waste people’s money by giving them false hope?
The beginning of The Dream Peddler, is slow, but essential nonetheless. Early on, it was difficult to maintain the motivation needed to continue, as readers are consumed by the loss of a young boy, but the novel picks up speed and becomes significantly more interesting as characters are slowly exposed, making it was easy to see why Watson chose to start the story the way she did.
Watson’s writing is subtle and emotive, and her characters speak and act authentically; Come novel’s end, Martine Fournier Watson makes it impossible for readers to not feel personally connected to each and every character in the story.
If you enjoy a story full of self discovery and hope, The Dream Peddler is for you. This reading experience is thought-provoking, as it opens your heart and truly makes you think about who you are and who you want to be.