Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds


It's 1998, and Sylvie Patterson, a bookish student at a Northern California boarding school, falls in love with a spirited, elusive classmate named Gabe. Their headmaster, Dr. Adrian Keller, is a charismatic medical researcher who has staked his career on the therapeutic potential of lucid dreaming: By teaching his patients to become conscious during sleep, he helps them to relieve stress and heal from trauma. Over the next six years, Sylvie and Gabe become consumed by Keller's work, following him from the redwood forests of Eureka, California, to the enchanting New England coast.

But when an opportunity brings the trio to the Midwest, Sylvie and Gabe stumble into a tangled relationship with their mysterious neighbors--and Sylvie begins to doubt the ethics of Keller's research, recognizing the harm that can be wrought under the guise of progress. As she navigates the hazy, permeable boundaries between what is real and what isn't, who can be trusted and who cannot, Sylvie also faces surprising developments in herself: an unexpected infatuation, growing paranoia, and a new sense of rebellion.

In stirring, elegant prose, Benjamin's tale exposes the slippery nature of trust--and the immense power of our dreams.

Read an excerpt HERE.

Read an interview with the author HERE.

Praise for the book:

"A debut novel of subtlety, depth, intrigue and tenderness, The Anatomy of Dreams tells the story of one young woman's gradual and quiet life-awakenings. Chloe Benjamin is a great new talent."  ~Lorrie Moore, author of Bark

"A sly, promising, and ambitious debut." ~Publishers Weekly

“Mounting tension and [an] atmosphere of secrecy will definitely keep the pages of this taut psychological exploration turning right up until the tense, satisfying denouement.” ~Booklist

"Benjamin’s debut is a majestic collision of sci-fi thriller and love story that explores, as the title claims, the anatomy of dreams — their power, both chilling and beautiful — through the lens of a young couple. It’s a riveting tale that will instantly transfix readers, like a dream you’re not quite ready to wake up from." ~Bustle

"Chloe Benjamin's ambitious debut novel matches the subtle surrealism of a dream with the underpinnings of a thriller. Back and forth in time like so many memories coming to light at once, Benjamin has produced a wholly original tale." ~Emma Straub, author of Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures

"A beautiful, haunting plunge into a mysterious world where the real and the dream are cleverly blurred. Sylvie’s story drew me in from the first, and the subtle menace kept me turning pages to its surprising conclusion. Chloe Benjamin has crafted an eerie, compelling first novel which, like the lingering effects of a vivid dream, resonates long past its finish."~ Karen Brown, author of The Longings of Wayward Girls

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