This is my hundredth post, and I am so glad that I can use it to write about a book I enjoyed very much. The Dreaming Place is the second Charles de Lint book that I have read; I think I mentioned in a previous post that he is an author fairly new to me, but I have been really impressed by what I have read so far.

This is the story of Ashley (known as Ash) and Nina, cousins thrown together after Ash’s mother dies and she comes to live with her aunt and uncle. Inevitably, the two teenagers do not get on; their styles are too different, they resent each other, and Ash is consumed with her feelings of grief and abandonment. But magic enters their lives as Nina begins to experience vivid dreams of inhabiting the bodies of other creatures and Ash gets involved in the world of the spirits. Can Ash save Nina, and what will it mean for their relationship?

I haven’t read much young adult fiction, at least not knowingly, and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but as I’ve already said I thoroughly enjoyed this. I love the way de Lint weaves the various mythological traditions into the story, and I really liked the book’s construction, as each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the girls, and they alternate throughout the book. In my copy, the blurb inside the back cover quotes de Lint as saying that the only real difference between writing for a teen audience is that the protagonists should be younger, and by inference everything else should be approached as if writing for adults and that seems absolutely right to me. Heartily recommended.

This is my first read for The Novella Challenge.

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