Sunday, August 28, 2011

PYN Review of The Hambledown Dream

The Hambledown Dream
Review by: Jennifer Bacile

          An original, engaging plot unfolds after a climatic beginning to this debut novel from Dean Mayes.  After a shocking opening, the story changes, and it’s unclear, at first, exactly how the storyline ties together.  The beginning of Andy’s story is a little strange, going from the heart-wrenching story of Sonya and Denny straight into a trauma bay half a world away.  As the plot reveals itself, however, I found it very comforting and not outside of the realm of possibility for such a thing to occur, which made the story all the more endearing.  As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that there are no hidden plot twists and that the story is exactly as it seems.  However, this is not a bad thing, because the characters are personable and likable and as a reader, I quickly found myself rooting for them. 

        Mayes did an excellent job of portraying the bittersweet ache of yearning felt by Andy as he realized he simply *must* seek out Sonya, as with the portrayal of Sonya’s grief and denial that Denny was gone from her life.  It could be said that an undertone of premonition existed in the description of Sonya’s denial of her grief and her refusal to let herself feel the loss of Denny. 

          Overall, it was easy to identify with the characters and although the plot was predictable in its conclusion, it was also within the realm of possible, which makes the story much more endearing and much less fantasy-driven than other books within the genre.  I would love to see this story on the big screen as a movie and have little doubt that Mayes has a promising future ahead as an author.  A solid, worthwhile read. 

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