The Dream Peddler: A Novel

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“Astonishing . . . Explores the vast underground legacy of our own desires. This is the must-read book of the year.” —Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder

A richly imagined debut novel about a traveling salesman and the small town he changes forever


If someone offered you a magic elixir that could conjure any dream you wanted . . . would you take it?

Traveling salesmen like Robert Owens have passed through Evie Dawson’s town before, but none of them offered anything like what he has to sell: dreams, made to order, with satisfaction guaranteed.

Soon after he arrives, the community is shocked by the disappearance of Evie’s young son. The townspeople, shaken by the Dawson family’s tragedy and captivated by Robert’s subversive magic, begin to experiment with his dreams. And Evie, devastated by grief, turns to Robert for a comfort only he can sell her. But the dream peddler’s wares awaken in his customers their most carefully buried desires, and despite all his good intentions, some of them will lead to disaster.

Gorgeously told through the eyes of Evie, Robert, and a broad cast of fully realized characters, The Dream Peddler is an imaginative, moving novel of overcoming loss and reckoning with the longings we keep secret.
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About the author

Martine Fournier Watson is originally from Montreal, Canada, where she earned her master’s degree in art history after a year in Chicago as a Fulbright scholar. She currently lives in Michigan with her husband and two children. The Dream Peddler is her first novel.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Apr 9, 2019
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780525504955
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Magical Realism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction • A Refinery 29 Favorite Book of the Year • A Booklist Top 10 First Novels of the Year • A People Best Book of the Fall

“Wonderful… completely transporting.”  —Madeline Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Circe and The Song of Achilles

In 1780s London, a prosperous merchant finds his quiet life upended when he unexpectedly receives a most unusual creature—and meets a most extraordinary woman—in this much-lauded, atmospheric debut that examines our capacity for wonder, obsession, and desire with all the magnetism, originality, and literary magic of The Essex Serpent.

One September evening in 1785, Jonah Hancock hears an urgent knocking on his front door near the docks of London. The captain of one of Jonah’s trading vessels is waiting eagerly on the front step, bearing shocking news. On a voyage to the Far East, he sold the Jonah’s ship for something rare and far more precious: a mermaid. Jonah is stunned—the object the captain presents him is brown and wizened, as small as an infant, with vicious teeth and claws, and a torso that ends in the tail of a fish. It is also dead.

As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlors and brothels, all of London is curious to see this marvel in Jonah Hancock’s possession. Thrust from his ordinary existence, somber Jonah finds himself moving from the city’s seedy underbelly to the finest drawing rooms of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of the coquettish Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on—and a shrewd courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting sparks a perilous liaison that steers both their lives onto a dangerous new course as they come to realize that priceless things often come at the greatest cost.

Imogen Hermes Gowar, Britain’s most-heralded new literary talent, makes her debut with this spellbinding novel of a merchant, a mermaid, and a madam—an unforgettable confection that explores obsession, wonder, and the deepest desires of the heart with bawdy wit, intrigue, and a touch of magic.

Winner of the Sami Rohr Prize in Fiction

Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction

NPR Best Book of 2016
Buzzfeed Best Debut of 2016
BUST Magazine Best Book of 2016

Winner of the 2016 Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize for Fiction

New York Times Editors' Choice

2016 Barnes & Noble Discover selection

"An elegant page-turner....Charges forward with the momentum of a bullet." --New York Times Book Review

For fans of Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette, an inventive, brilliant debut novel about the disappearance of a famous Brazilian novelist and the young translator who turns her life upside down to follow her author's trail.

Beatriz Yagoda was once one of Brazil's most celebrated authors. At the age of sixty, she is mostly forgotten-until one summer afternoon when she enters a park in Rio de Janeiro, climbs into an almond tree, and disappears.

When her devoted translator Emma hears the news in wintry Pittsburgh, she flies to the sticky heat of Rio. There she joins the author's son and daughter to solve the mystery of Yagoda's disappearance and satisfy the demands of the colorful characters left in her wake, including a loan shark with a debt to collect and the washed-up editor who launched Yagoda's career. What they discover is how much of her they never knew.

Exquisitely imagined and as profound as it is suspenseful, Ways to Disappear is at once a thrilling story of intrigue and a radiant novel of self-reckoning.
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