Lincoln's Dreams

by Connie Willis

Cover image

Publisher: Bantam
Copyright: May 1987
Printing: July 1992
ISBN: 0-553-27025-7
Format: Mass market
Pages: 256

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Lincoln's Dreams, one of Connie Willis's earliest novels, is about a Civil War researcher and a woman suffering from vivid nightmares about the Civil War. Their lives grow slowly entangled as they search Civil War battlefields and history for a new novel and an explanation for the nightmares.

This is now the third of Connie Willis's books that I've read, and she definitely has a consistent and recognizable writing style. I find her characters very interesting, in part because they really don't behave like other fictional characters in most books I've read. They have a non-confrontational approach to problem solving and moving through life that strikes me as surprisingly realistic, and she does an excellent job of capturing some of life's ambiguity and confused motivations.

It shows that this is one of her earlier novels. Her style isn't quite as polished as it becomes in her later work, the characters aren't quite as compelling or memorable, and the underlying ideas are interesting but not brilliant. I did find myself wanting to know more about the Civil War after reading it, though, continuing the trend of Willis's books being interestingly informative at the same time as entertaining.

While not spectacular, this is a solid, enjoyable book that I can recommend. It's also fairly short, and a good choice if you're looking to pick up something that will move fairly fast.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Reviewed: 2003-10-24

Last modified and spun 2014-12-21