A Bad Dream

Patriot’s Dream by Barbara Michaels

Grade: C+

I’m enjoying my Barbara Michaels binge, but I wish that her writing had been more consistent. Patriot’s Dream is not one of her best. I just read it a couple of weeks ago, but I don’t remember the details very well, so forgive me for any inaccuracies in this review.

Patriot’s Dream was published in 1976, the year of the United States Bicentennial, and the story goes something like this: a young teacher is on the cusp of a mental breakdown, and she needs some time off, so she goes to Williamsburg to stay with her elderly aunt and uncle in their historic home. In exchange for the free room and board, she does housework and cooking for them. She starts having vivid dreams about the Revolutionary War. The dreams revolve around some of her ancestors, who once lived in the same house. During her waking hours, she attracts the attention of two suitors. One is nice and boring. The other is mean and less boring. The story moves back and forth between past and present, culminating in a brief meeting of the two timelines and the weak suggestion of reincarnation. In the end, no one element of the story ruined this book, but nothing quite worked either. I struggled to finish it, and I was dissatisfied with the ending.

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