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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.
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Book Review: Jake, Lucid Dreamer by David J. Naiman

What an absolutely lovely and deftly crafted story this was! It was highly deceptive in its deliverables – a very poignant and masterfull-created journey through life, death, and the aftermath of both masquerading (for much of the book) as a lighthearted tale about unusual dreams and anger-management…

Jake lost his mother. Literally and figuratively. And he’s lost himself, trying to live every day as though this loss is (a) bearable, (b) not crushing him, and (c) not responsible for his reactions to everyone and everything around him. Naiman brings the anxiety, anguish, and angst of the loss of a parent into Technicolor focus with his descriptions of Jake and his gloriously unusual and beautifully eccentric dreams. He deals with bullies at school, his own maelstrom of anger and resentment toward his surviving family members, and his burgeoning feelings about a friend. He tries to rationalize or ignore his feelings – particularly anger and guilt – in a way that reads in a thoroughly authentic kid-voice but is also exceptionally relatable to adults. This is not just about how a (chronological) child deals with the death of a parent. It’s about how anyone does – young or old, when it happens we are all children losing our parents and the pain is just as sharp because the loss is just as powerful, even if for very different reasons.

This was a gorgeous, painful, sweet, delicately balanced tale. As I worked my way through the end there were tears running down my face. It was beautiful in its straightforward explanations and acceptances of all of the emotions surrounding death, from anguish to anger, grief to guilt. Kudos to you, David J. Naiman…

My review copy was provided via Kindle Unlimited. A special thank you to the author for contacting me and asking if I would be interested in taking a look at it – I was, and am a different person for it.

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