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The Good Dream

The Good Dream

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4.48

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From The New York Times bestselling author comes a poignant, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting novel about an unlikely path to motherhood, and of two lost souls healing each other  1950 Tennessee, a time and place that straddles the past and present. Ivorie Walker is considered an old maid by the town (though she’s only in her early thirties) and she takes that label with good humor and a grain of salt. Ever since her parents passed away, she has hidden her loneliness behind a fierce independence and a claim of not needing anyone. But her mother’s death hit her harder than anyone suspects and Ivorie wonders if she will be alone forever.  When she realizes that someone has been stealing vegetables from her garden—a feral, dirty-faced boy who disappears into the hills—something about him haunts Ivorie. She can’t imagine what would make him desperate enough to steal and eat from her garden. But what she truly can’t imagine is what the boy faces, each day and night, in the filthy lean-to hut miles up in the hills. Who is he? How did he come to live in the hills? Where did he come from? And, more importantly, can she save him? As Ivorie steps out of her comfort zone to uncover the answers, she unleashes a firestorm in the town—a community that would rather let secrets stay secret.
From The New York Times bestselling author comes a poignant, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting novel about an unlikely path to motherhood, and of two lost souls healing each other  1950 Tennessee, a time and place that straddles the past and present. Ivorie Walker is considered an old maid by the town (though she’s only in her early thirties) and she takes that label with good humor and a grain of salt. Ever since her parents passed away, she has hidden her loneliness behind a fierce independence and a claim of not needing anyone. But her mother’s death hit her harder than anyone suspects and Ivorie wonders if she will be alone forever.  When she realizes that someone has been stealing vegetables from her garden—a feral, dirty-faced boy who disappears into the hills—something about him haunts Ivorie. She can’t imagine what would make him desperate enough to steal and eat from her garden. But what she truly can’t imagine is what the boy faces, each day and night, in the filthy lean-to hut miles up in the hills. Who is he? How did he come to live in the hills? Where did he come from? And, more importantly, can she save him? As Ivorie steps out of her comfort zone to uncover the answers, she unleashes a firestorm in the town—a community that would rather let secrets stay secret.

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Publish date: Jul 3, 2012
Added to Scribd: Jun 06, 2012
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08/21/2013

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This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in thisnovel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
the good dream
. Copyright © 2012 by Donna VanLiere. All rights reserved. Printedin the United States of America. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.  ww.stmartins.com Design by Kathryn PariseLibrary of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data VanLiere, Donna, 1966–The good dream / Donna VanLiere.—1st ed.p. cm.ISBN 978-0-312-36777-0 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-250-01150-3 (e-book) 1. Tennessee—Social life and customs20th centuryFiction. 2. Single women—Fiction. 3. Feral children—Fiction. 4. Family secrets—Fiction. I. Title.PS3622.A66G66 2012813'.6—dc23 2012007418First Edition: July 201210 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
 
A
I
didn’t set out to be an old maid. When I was in my early twentiesthere was, according to my mother, “still hope for me.” But whenI got into my late twenties the hope all but left Mother’s eyes. “Lordhave mercy, Ivorie,” she would say. “What is going to happen to you when your pop and I leave this earth?” I was, in her opinion, doomedto a bed-of-nails existence without a man.Mother had always been fire and sizzle but there was something used up about her the last two years of her life. Her arthritis grew worse; gnarling her small, freckled hand into the shape of a claw andtaking care of Pop wore what was left of her away. One afternoon,she came to me in the garden, where she rested that crippled handatop her cane and looked at me with those sad, cornflower-blue eyes.“What about Lyle Hovitts?”I nearly toppled the basket of beans I was picking. “That melon-headed man with the fat stomach and stumpy legs?” I threw my headback and laughed. “Mother! What have I done to you?”
 Ivorie

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2lz reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Despite the amazing reviews of The Good Dream by Donna VanLiere, I was hesitant about reading it once hearing that the author was described as an inspirational Christian writer. I was nervous about the book being too preachy or religious, but I was wrong. I absolutely loved this story. In fact, I would consider it one of my top five favorite novels for 2012. The Good Dream is a story with substance that takes place in a small Tennessee town. The characters are so beautifully developed, that the reader feels a closeness with them. Simply summarized, Ivorie, one of the nicest, kindest characters, along with her brother, Henry, who also has a special way about him, and a cast of quirky characters, save a severely abused boy. But, the story is far from simplistic. As Ivorie helps this child, she saves her own lonely life as well.It is a book about values and about doing what's right in the face of adversity, challenges and hardships. If this book represents Christian Fiction, then I have found a new genre to devour. I highly recommend this book. It is not to be missed.
mcelhra reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I just love Southern fiction and The Good Dream is Southern fiction done well. Ivorie is a wonderful character – a strong and caring woman who refuses to bend to society’s will. She lives in a small town with a big cast of characters; it reminded me of a Fannie Flagg novel in that way. The author uses wonderfully descriptive metaphors filled with Southern charm. Some of my favorite examples:“As useful as a back pocket on a shirt”“Slower than a turtle after Thanksgiving dinner”“Helpful as teats on a bull”There is a darker side in this book however. Some very bad things happen to the boy in the first part of the novel that might be hard for the fainthearted to read. I didn’t find any of it gratuitous though.The narration is first person when Ivorie and her brother are each telling their story. Parts of the story are also told from the boy’s point of view and I absolutely loved the device the author used for his narration. (I don’t want to give too much away so I won’t get more detailed about that part.)When I saw that the author was the narrator of the audio book, I was apprehensive. That doesn’t always go so well. After listening, I was pleasantly surprised – she did a great job. She used a light Southern accent for the prose and then varied the thickness of the accent for the dialogue depending on who was speaking. I surprised when I listened to the author interview at the end of the book to hear that she doesn’t actually have a Southern accent at all because it sounded so authentic when she was narrating. She even did a really good snobby Southern accent for the banker.After I listened to this book, I learned that the author is considered a Christian fiction author. I don’t know if this book is considered Christian fiction; I didn’t feel like it was while I listening to it. It is inspirational but it doesn’t have a lot of religious talk or preaching in it. I would highly recommend The Good Dream to anyone.
dgallo_46 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I liked the title that was chosen for this book although it was some way into the story that I realized how the title connected to the story line. It was at a heartbreaking part of the story where Ivorie is standing at the bedside of the young boy she toke into her home and life.
dwgodby_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Author Donna VanLiere certainly doesn't disappoint her fans with her first full-length novel. This book stirs the emotions,warms the heart and challenges the mind. She places such characters as Ivorie Walker, an old maid stated by many in thetown because she is in her thirties and not married. Then there is George Coley who wants to marry Ivorie but when she findsa starving, abused boy raiding her garden that she wants to help, he decides that isn't the life for him. This little boy has been abused, neglected, scared and unable to speak because of a cleft palette. Ivorie can't turn her back on him, even thoughmost of the town would quickly say it is too much for a single lady like herself to ever get involved in. Ivorie's brother Henry and his wife quickly aid Ivorie in her endeavor to help this little boy who after much time she learns is named Peter. She tells the little boy that his mother must have named him that because according to the Bible Peter meansa rock and he is one strong and determined little boy. It is amazing what a person can see through the eyes of a young little boy. Because Ivorie isn't willing to give up on this young lad, she is blessed in return by finding a young man who is smart, loving, engaging, desires to learn and responds with great affection. This book challenges the reader to not just look at people in passing rather to look deeper within ones heart to see who they truly are and more importantly who they can become. It may make the reader ask some pointed questions, such as: the one who is mean spirited, the hard to get along with, the screamer or hurtful person could be someone who has encountered a great deal within their own life and they aren't sure of how to respond to life's challenges? Peter challenges the reader to make sure how we respond to others is how we would like others to respond to us. Ivorie shares the love and compassion of Jesus as she reaches out to Peter to make a difference within his life.There is suspense, drama, action, romance, and laughter to engage the reader as they turn page by page to find out what willhappen next. The author does a great job of leading the reader through one situation to the next always building and causingthe reader to want more. This is a definite 5 of 5 book, that most any reader would enjoy and certainly one that leaves the reader feeling involved in thestory.
meganm922 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I won this book via Goodreads First Reads.This book was really good. It was a page turner and written eloquently. I thought the author captured the voice of the south very well. The narrator, Ivorie, actually reminded me a bit of Sookie Stackhouse in the way that she was southern, bubbly, and not the norm compared to the people around. I suppose she was much like Sookie in the ways that most of her friends disapprove of her choices, but she stands by them anyway.I honestly wasn’t sure what would happen in the book, so it kept me guessing. I loved Ivorie’s personality, her big heart, and her dog, Sally. She opens her heart to a small, filthy, and abused child. This is such a tender southern story. I don’t read much southern fiction, but I thoroughly enjoyed this story. All of the characters were well described and I felt like I knew them all. The narration switches between Ivorie and the boy, and later, Ivorie’s brother Henry. When Ivorie takes in the boy, I was surprised by the hostility of the townsfolk, and even more surprised by some of the characters who were supportive. I tend to avoid stories set in such times where women weren’t really seen as equal, because a lot of times, the women in the book disappoint me. I love to see female characters challenge the norm, which is probably why I loved Ivorie so much. While still sticking to the tight knit community feeling that I’m sure those towns had back in those days, the author manages to present a female character with guts. I would definitely recommend this book to others, as it was well written and enjoyable, set in a believable small Tennessee town in the 1950’s. Great read!
misslynn_1944 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
The Good DreamDonna VanLiereSt. Martin’s PressPublication Date: July 3, 2012Fiction5 StarsKnown best for her Christmas Hope Series Donna VanLiere proves that Holidays are not the only time of the year in which people can not only experience hope joy and love in their life. In her newest full length novel Ms. VanLiere takes us back once more to Morgan Hill Tennessee, back to a time and place that is between the past and the present.The Good Dream is the story of two individuals who meet in an unexpected way. Ivorie Walker is destined it seems to become an old maid. As the years have passed her by now in her early thirties she still lives with her mother and works in the school library. As her mother tries to play matchmaker with every eligible bachelor in town Ivorie just keeps putting her off till she suddenly finds herself alone after her mother dies. The Boy only knows one thing how to survive the best way he knows how, by raiding Ivories garden. Not only has he been physically and mentally abused, this feral boy from the hills cannot talk. When Ivorie finally meets up with the boy she rescue’s him from a fate worse than death. Now not only are the town’s people against her but also her new beau. As she works with the boy she finally learns his name and it fits him well. As their relationship grows so does trouble on the home front.This is just a small touch of what this story is about. Ms.VanLiere takes the reader on a journey of one woman’s love and determination to save the life of one little boy, the sacrifices she makes in her own life and the amazing results at the end. I laughed, got upset and cried as I read this book. The book goes to prove that there is power in strength, courage and love, and that alone can change the life of anyone.Out of all of Donna VanLieres books it would be hard for me to really pick a favorite but The Good Dream is right up at the topI was one of the 500 chosen for the Dream Team to read the Advanced Readers Edition. A positive review was not required and all opinions and ratings associated with my review are strictly my own thoughts about the book.
ednat_49 reviewed this
This is Donna's first novel but not her first time at writing, she brought happiness to a lot of people with her "CHRISTMAN HOPE" series and now enjoy her first full length novel as I have.Ivorie Walker is a young woman in her late twenties and unmarried. She works at the school library but her mother was always trying to find her a husband as both her parents were up in years. "This really relates to me as my mother was forty-five when I was born. I was the tenth child for her" Ivorie alone with her family live in Morgan Hill Tennessee a small community about seventy miles from Knoxville but somewhere she had never been. She has six brothers and all are married with families.Ivorie did not like any man that was thrown at her, she found something wrong with all of the ones that lived in their small community. Her dad died in 1948 and Mother was crippled with arthritis so she did most of the work in the gardens and house. When Ivorie turned thirty her Mother passed away in January and now the house was too quite and cold.Then there is the Boy that is being treated very bad at his home and he has some terrible dreams that he is drowning and a woman always pulls him out. He does not know her but she always rescues him. Someday he will get away from that shack and the man that treats him worst than a dog.The boy meets Ivorie and finds himself into more trouble from "THE MAN" than ever before. He is beaten and cursed at for going down past the river. This book is so interesting that you will not want to put it down and that is why I read it so fast. I wanted to see what the next page holds. This book will be out in July so be sure to pick up a copy or pre-order one, you will be so glad you did.I want to thank the author Donna VanLiere for sending me this free advanced copy for my review.
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