The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson

the booksellerThe Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson is a story that plays off in the 1960s in Denver, America. It tells the story of a woman living in an alternate reality, in different time periods, but which one is reality and which one is the life she created for herself in her mind?

In 1962, she is Kitty Miller.  She is a single woman living on her own and owns a business with her best friend, Frieda.  They have a book shop that isn’t doing very well, but they have plans to expand. She has everything she needs – she quit her job as a teacher to do what she loves,  leads a satisfactory life (albeit without a man, which is quite unlikely for her age during that time) and has loving parents.  However, at night when she goes to sleep, her other life comes forth, in her dreams…

In 1963 she is Katharyn Andersson.  She is married to a loving husband, Lars and has 3 children – Mitch, Missy and Michael, who are triplets. She lives in a beautiful home, is happily married and has great friends.   Her dream life seems very appealing to her and sooner, rather than later, she can’t wait to go to sleep to enter her alternate reality. However, she will soon find that her other life isn’t without its own disadvantages, one of which is the fact that Michael is autistic and she doesn’t know how to handle him.

Which of these lives is the real reality? Is she Kitty Miller or Katharyn Andersson? Which life does she prefer?  As Kathryn Andersson, she seeks to find out why certain people she loves are no longer part of life, while as Kitty Miller, she is excited about her other life, until she learns something about Katharyn’s reality she cannot deal with. She is ready to say goodbye to her life as Katharyn, but before that happens she finds out which life is her actual reality and why she has created this “other life” in her mind. The Bookseller is an easy and enjoyable read that was hard to put down. I enjoyed reading it!

Have you ever dreamed of another life when you go to sleep at night? Do you know of anyone who has created an alternate reality in their mind, in order to deal with trauma?

Image source