Book Review for THE LOST HISTORY OF DREAMS by Kris Waldherr

THE LOST HISTORY OF DREAMS by Kris Waldherr
Atria Books
☕ ☕ ☕ ☕
My Highly Caffeinated Thought: A highly atmospheric tale filled with love, tragedy, and hidden mysteries.

THE LOST HISTORY OF DREAMS is not the book I thought it was going to be when I first started. However, what greeted me within the pages of Waldherr’s debut was much richer and far more captivating.

Book Review for THE LOST HISTORY OF DREAMS by Kris Waldherr

When you think of gothic fiction, few contemporary authors get it. Much like Diane Setterfield, this author understands how to layer the plot in a way which adds to the depth of the story as well as giving the reader characters to identify. The people you meet in this book, though set in the Victorian Era, are just as relatable as if they were in 2019. This is the power of a good tale. It can bring you to a new place and time while still touching on the foundations of human emotion.

This hauntingly beguiling tale will no doubt remind many of Wuthering Heights or a Daphne Du Maurier novel. It is equal parts eerie and heartwarming. It will make you question if ghosts exist or if their presence is a figment of the imagination. It will show the power of love, but also the pain it can cause. All in all, this is a perfectly gothic novel which in my humble opinion is a must read. 

Reviewer Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


A post-mortem photographer unearths dark secrets of the past that may hold the key to his future, in this captivating debut novel in the gothic tradition of Wuthering Heights and The Thirteenth Tale.

All love stories are ghost stories in disguise.

When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead of a heart attack in his bath one morning, his cousin Robert Highstead, a historian turned post-mortem photographer, is charged with a simple task: transport Hugh's remains for burial in a chapel. This chapel, a stained glass folly set on the moors of Shropshire, was built by de Bonne sixteen years earlier to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. Since then, the chapel has been locked and abandoned, a pilgrimage site for the rabid fans of de Bonne's last book, The Lost History of Dreams.

However, Ada's grief-stricken niece refuses to open the glass chapel for Robert unless he agrees to her bargain: before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record Isabelle's story of Ada and Hugh's ill-fated marriage over the course of five nights.

As the mystery of Ada and Hugh's relationship unfolds, so does the secret behind Robert's own marriage--including that of his fragile wife, Sida, who has not been the same since the tragic accident three years ago, and the origins of his own morbid profession that has him seeing things he shouldn't--things from beyond the grave.

Kris Waldherr effortlessly spins a sweeping and atmospheric gothic mystery about love and loss that blurs the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death.

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About the Author: Kris Waldherr is an award-winning author, illustrator, and designer. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, and her fiction has been awarded with fellowships by the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts and a reading grant by Poets & Writers. Kris Waldherr works and lives in Brooklyn in a Victorian-era house with her husband, the anthropologist-curator Thomas Ross Miller, and their young daughter.


Book Details:

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (April 9, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1982101016
ISBN-13: 978-1982101015 

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