Sunday, 9 February 2020

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

    This month’s theme for the McBride Library’s Book Club is “Best of 2019”  that is;  books that have been put on some list of good reads.  I chose The Dreamers, not realize how topical it’s story would become as  I read it.  It really brought a bit of reality to all of those news stories about the Nova Corona Virus that are filling the news as it begins to spread across the world.
           The storyline in this novel is a familiar one.  We are introduced to a few of the the individuals who live a small isolated town (in this case a university town in California), then something unexpected happens that is very threatening to them.  Panic and terror starts to spread, as the threat increases and civilization starts to break down. 
      In The Dreamers the threat that causes the panic is a previously unknown disease that causes its victims to fall into an unwakable deep sleep, complete with rapid eye movement which indicates the victims are dreaming. The disease can cause death. 
      The unknown disease is very contagious, soon causing the local hospital to overflow with the sleeping patients.  The disease soon begins to spread to the hospital staff.  As the panic increases, some townspeople try to escape the area to flee the disease, thus spreading it to previously uncontaminated areas, and like what is currently happening in China, the whole town is put into “cordon sanitaire”, the enforced sealing off of an infected area. 
    The book is simply written and very engaging.  Like I said, it helped me humanize what I have been seeing in all of the news stories about the corona virus.  It was an exciting novel to help fill the void on those snowy winter lulls when not much is happening.  

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