Today's review is of Lucinda Whitney's new novel, The Secret Life of Daydreams. It takes place in Portugal and I loved being immersed in another culture with the food, the people, and the setting. The author even used Portuguese phrases that added an authentic flavor to the novel. (I wish they had been translated sometimes, though, because I didn't understand what they meant!)
We first meet Josh Conrad who is sent to Portugal on a photography assignment. He's world-weary and heart wary after suffering a painful divorce. Being in Portugal reminds him of his time he spent as an LDS missionary and he meets up with some friends, including Sofia, the girl he baptized eleven years earlier. She's changed a lot since then and he wants to get to know the woman she's become.
Sofia's life is anything but easy. She takes care of her mother who is suffering from dementia and is hard to get along with. Sofia has hopes and dreams that she can't fulfill because of her family obligations. Yet, when Josh comes back into her life, she sees a ray of hope, that maybe she can reach for those dreams after all. However, since Josh has given up his faith that might be the one thing she can't overlook. Can they find a way to be together or is it just one more dream that will slip away?
This romance was like a summer walk through the park---an easygoing, sometimes long and rambly, comfortable stroll. The characters are fleshed out and realistic, the setting is well-done, and the story is sweet.
Here's the back copy:
Sometimes the dream you never planned for is the one you can’t live without.
Six years after a painful divorce, Josh Conrad is happy traveling the world as a photographer. When he arrives in Portugal, he plans to complete the assignment as quickly as possible. What he doesn’t plan for is Sofia, the girl he baptized eleven years earlier on an LDS mission, and soon he’s making excuses to prolong his trip.
Sofia Monteiro leads a structured life in Braga, Portugal, teaching high school by day and caring for her mother by night. After she reconnects with Josh through mutual friends, the memory of a failed relationship and her new graduate program are enough reasons to stay away from him.
As they collaborate on a project, Josh is wary of repeating his old mistakes and Sofia hesitates to spend time with an American who’s only passing through.
Can two people with wounded hearts bring themselves to trust their dreams to each other?
You can get your copy here for $3.99