A cleverly unsettling novel, Dreamwatcher by Sylvia Shults slips into the heads of siblings, Ryan and Stephanie, just as their world’s threatening to fall apart. Ryan seems too young and Stephanie too old for them to be twins, but slowly the relationship between them becomes clear, just as other relationships begin to take over their lives. The family has moved into a small Southern town where boys catch fish in the stream, costumed youth reenact confederate battles, and romance hides with ghosts in the corners of beautiful rooms. But Stephanie’s sleep is broken by dreams drawn inexorably from romance to something darker, and her dream lover’s image veers on the edge of perception. Meanwhile Ryan’s affections switch from innocent art to unrestrained anger. Is it just that he’s scared to lose his sister when she gets a boyfriend or goes to college, or is there something more? The old man in the graveyard might know, and the dead, for all the evils of their day, might prove wiser than the living. Scary, dark, haunting and intelligent, Dreamwatcher’s definitely one to read with the lights on.
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to buy an ecopy when it was free.