Title: The lost history of dreams
Author: Kris Waldherr
Genre: adult historical fiction, mystery, gothic.
Editor: Atria Books
Publication date: April 9th 2019
Goodreads Rating: 4,44
My Rating: 4
Trigger warning: corpse, memento mori, mentions of death, blood, death of animals, violence, s*x scenes.
All love stories are ghost stories in disguise.
When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead of a heart attack in his bath one morning, his cousin Robert Highstead, a historian turned post-mortem photographer, is charged with a simple task: transport Hugh’s remains for burial in a chapel. This chapel, a stained glass folly set on the moors of Shropshire, was built by de Bonne sixteen years earlier to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. Since then, the chapel has been locked and abandoned, a pilgrimage site for the rabid fans of de Bonne’s last book, The Lost History of Dreams.
However, Ada’s grief-stricken niece refuses to open the glass chapel for Robert unless he agrees to her bargain: before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record Isabelle’s story of Ada and Hugh’s ill-fated marriage over the course of five nights.
As the mystery of Ada and Hugh’s relationship unfolds, so does the secret behind Robert’s own marriage—including that of his fragile wife, Sida, who has not been the same since the tragic accident three years ago, and the origins of his own morbid profession that has him seeing things he shouldn’t—things from beyond the grave.
Kris Waldherr effortlessly spins a sweeping and atmospheric gothic mystery about love and loss that blurs the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death.
This had the potential to be my fave read of the year, no, my fave read of all the time.
It has everything I’m searching in a book: a creepy beginning set in a past era; a tormented main character; the mention of the post mortem photography; a lonely house in the moor; ghosts that haunt people and houses; a tragic love story; a dark and gothic atmosphere.
I love it so much.
I was reading this in total darkness (tablet in night mode), and it gave me chills. I also had a couple of nightmares during my reading. If you are easily scared, this book is not for you!
But everyone knows that all good things come to an end, and the end for this book it’s literally the ending: it has ruined pretty much everything.
The beginning is amazing, the plot is really well done and it develops with a lot of twists, there a lot of characters and a lot of locations to memorize, but everything is so captivating and I was on the edge of my seat at least a couple of times.
Robert is an interesting main character, Isabelle is a little annoying with her obsession for Ada, but we want to know what’s inside the Ada’s Folly.
There are a couple of scenes during the entire book that doesn’t suit well: one is involving the death of many animals, and I really don’t like it. My main issue is the ending: I love when there are plot twist, and I love when a book is unpredictable, but the Lost History of Dreams is a traitor. All the pieces of evidence, the tales about Ada, the scenes involving Isabelle led the reader to a certain type of ending, or at least, that was for me.
No, we don’t have what we expected: a glorious horror ending. We have however a romance style ending that has let me in tears not for her magnificent, but because it has broken all my expectations and has ruined my love for this book.
Also, I really don’t like s*x scenes throw like that, when they are not necessary. I don’t think that only because a book is labelled “adult” it means you can write weird adult scenes involving (enlight the rest of the phrase) make s*x on the floor of a chapel with your dead aunt next to you. This is a no-no for me.
The ending in my head was better that that.