"A novel of classical proportions and virtues...humane and moving."-The Washington Post Book World
"A love story on more than one level, and Ms. Willis does justice to them all. It was only toward the end of the book that I realized how much tension had been generated, how engrossed I was in the characters, how much I cared about their fates."-The New York Times Book Review
For Jeff Johnston, a young historical reseacher for a Civil War novelist, reality is redefined on a bitter cold night near the close of a lingering winter. He meets Annie, an intense and lovely young woman suffering from vivid, intense nightmares. Haunted by the dreamer and her unrelenting dreams, Jeff leads Annie on an emotional odyssey through the heartland of the Civil War in search of a cure. On long-silenced battlefields their relationship blossoms-two obsessed lovers linked by unbreakable chains of history, torn by a duty that could destroy them both. Suspenseful, moving, and highly compelling, Lincoln's Dreams is a novel of rare imaginative power.
As a researcher for a popular historical novelist, Jeff Johnston finds himself immersed in the minutiae of the Civil War, tracking down the name of a general's favorite horse or the spot where Lincoln's son was buried. His meeting with Annie, the patient of old friend Dr. Richard Madison, changes his perspective. While the novelist contemplates a book on Lincoln's prophetic dreams and consults sleep specialist Madison, Jeff discovers that Annie is having vivid, horrible dreams of the Civil War containing details she couldn't possibly know. The point of view is unmistakably that of defeated Confederate leader Robert E. Lee. Jeff tries to shield Annie from the opportunistic reach of both novelist and doctor, but he can't protect her from herself, for she feels duty bound to refight the war if it will finally allow Lee some measure of peace. This charming, unpredictable book, with its unforced subtext of more recent wars and their veterans' lingering bad dreams, is an impressive first novel from a talented writer whose short stories have already won acclaim.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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May 31, 1992
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