Today’s feature is a new book: Dream Girl, by Laura Lippman.
In a rented hospital bed, high above the city, higher than he ever thought possible in stodgy, low-slung Baltimore, Gerry is asleep more often than he’s awake. He floats, he rouses, he drifts, he dreams.
But why was Tara telling this story again, here at this new club, Dante’s? They were only twenty-eight, after all. Weren’t they too young to be repeating themselves?
In the end, has anyone really led a blameless life?
Injured in a freak fall, novelist Gerry Andersen is confined to a hospital bed in his glamorous high-rise apartment, dependent on two women he barely knows: his incurious young assistant, and a dull, slow-witted night nurse.
Then late one night, the phone rings. The caller claims to be the “real” Aubrey, the alluring title character from his most successful novel, Dream Girl. But there is no real Aubrey. She’s a figment born of a writer’s imagination, despite what many believe or claim to know. Could the cryptic caller be one of his three ex-wives playing a vindictive trick after all these years? Or is she Margot, an ex-girlfriend who keeps trying to insinuate her way back into Gerry’s life?
And why does no one believe that the call even happened?
Isolated from the world, drowsy from medication, Gerry slips between reality and a dreamlike state in which he is haunted by his own past: his faithless father, his devoted mother; the women who loved him, the women he loved.
And now here is Aubrey, threatening to visit him, suggesting that she is owed something. Is the threat real or is it a sign of dementia? Which scenario would he prefer? Gerry has never been so alone, so confused – and so terrified.
Chilling and compulsively readable, touching on timely issues that include power, agency, appropriation, and creation, Dream Girl is a superb blend of psychological suspense and horror that reveals the mind and soul of a writer.
What do you think? I am eager to start reading this one.