Book Review: Dream Sequence

Adam Foulds, Dream Sequence
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2019
224 pages, hardcover, $25.00

WE ALL HAVE crushes on actors. Think about the feeling of seeing them on TV or at the movies. You may to smile every time you think of them, but would you actually think you could date them? There’s a line between a dream in your fandom and real life, and we know that–except Kristina, the heroine of Dream Sequence by Adam Foulds, doesn’t. For her, Henry, a famous actor from The Grange, a weekly UK television show, is more than just a fantasy. While Kristina fantasizes, Henry gets his chance to be on the big screen, in a movie directed by a well-known Spanish auteur (without knowing he’s already made it big in someone’s mind). Dream Sequence tells the story, through two points of views, Henry and Kristina.

Recently divorced Kristin becomes obsessed with Henry and nothing else in her life is as important to her as the thought of being as close to him in real life as in her dreams. But Henry’s life is normal with a good (but also exhausting) relationship to his parents, selfies with fans on the street, loneliness in a flat in London and business meetings with famous people, and no knowledge of Kristin. But nothing stops her, she is following his life via the news and social media from her flat in Philadelphia and feels unrealistically close to him. At a point where nothing more could happen, her dream takes her on a flight to London. And anything could happen. Is she actually meeting him in real life? And how is Henry supposed to react to a stranger?

After the first part of Dream Sequence, written in Kristin’s perspective when she is living in Philadelphia, the story breaks and a completely new story begins about Henry’s life, written in his perspective. In this part of the story Kristin is not even mentioned. Finally, the story ends with these two perspectives about to clash. Kristin’s well-planned trip to London brings her right to Henry– and not just once. But every time she almost gets to talk to him, fate intervenes. When they actually meet and talk, the story has an astonishing ending (one you’ll have to read to find out).

Obviously the novel’s deals mainly with the juxtaposition of Kristin’s fantasy and Henry’s reality– in kind of a psychological way. Sometimes Kristin is acting out of her mind, but other times she behaves like a normal person. Also, how badly she wants her dream to become true, makes the reader rethink her motivations. Besides that, Dream Sequence is about love, business and relationships. It is a mix between Henry’s business life and Kristin’s love story, which makes it to an adventitious love story.

But, Adam Foulds tells a love story, where the love is just one-sided. The character of Kristin shows an important message–love makes you blind, and sometimes that love will consume you.