AFTER THE DREAMS DIE — A REVIEW

Back in the 1980s, everything seemed possible. Even inevitable…for those young hopefuls attending Harvard.

And now, twenty years later, their reunion looms under a totally different kind of sky, with a collapsed economy and a bleak future hovering like a dark cloud of gloom.

The Red Book is the go-to place to find out what’s happening with the graduates, and each fall before reunion year, it appears, ready for the alumni to fill in the blanks and share tidbits of their lives.

Mia, Clover, Addison, and Jane are all planning to attend and can’t wait to catch up with each other. Each of them has secrets and parts of their lives they might not share with even their closest friends. But they are eager to connect again.

During the weekend, we see each of these characters, along with some of those secrets, unfold and reveal more than we expected to find.

What will happen to change everything about their lives in just one weekend? Will Addison finally discover what her heart really wants? Will Mia find the one true thing she loves? Will Jane put the past to rest and finally forgive those who have betrayed her? And what about Clover, raised on a commune and missing vital bits of convention that others have? Will she give in to the pull of the past?

I like this excerpt, in Mia’s husband Jonathan’s voice, that seems to capture the times:

“…Was it really only a year and a half ago? Jesus, he thinks. How quickly the whole thing can tailspin. One minute you’re flying high, full speed ahead, the next a pocket of air catches your wing just as a lightning storm hits. He feels his chest tightening at the mere thought of it….”

As the weekend comes to a close, we leave the characters. But then the author gives us a look at five years ahead, so we can see what happened to these characters after. I loved this part, because I had become so attached to them and didn’t want to let them go. Not without some closure. Wonderful read that earned five stars from me.

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