Modern Lit: Lincoln’s Dreams, by Connie Willis

Lincoln's Dreams

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jeff Johnston works as researcher for a Civil War novelist, and his former roommate, Richard Madison, is now a psychiatrist. The two are reunited at a book signing party, and as Richard consults with the novelist about the prophetic dreams Lincoln is supposed to have experienced, Jeff keeps company with Richard’s girlfriend, Annie. The next morning, Annie appears at Jeff’s door, asking him for help with the vivid, frightening dreams she’s been having about the Civil War. Jeff quickly realizes that all of Annie’s dreams have to do with Robert E. Lee, and he takes Annie along on his current research assignment in Fredericksburg, VA. Fredericksburg is burgeoning with Civil War history, and as Annie’s dreams become impossibly intense, Jeff struggles to find their cause. What ensues is an odyssey through dream interpretation, history, psychology, and romantic entanglement, and will probably appeal to readers whose interests lie in that direction.

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