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Fever DreamFever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 (Rounded up)

A slim, fast paced novel that grabs you by the short hairs and doesn’t let go. Complete with creepy kids, mysterious poisons, and a witchy woman who lives in a greenhouse. This was one of those works that I loved, but hated because I wished I had written it first!

The basic structure of the book centers around the fever dreaming Amanda, on her death bed, telling her story to a young, but somehow not so you, boy named David. David prompts her to search for important details within her memory of the last couple days, specifically looking for the “worms.” He often dismisses parts of her tale she finds interesting as “not important” and tries to keep her moving or redirect her. He often scolds her for missing what’s important.

The original title in Spanish, Distancia de rescate translates to Rescue Distance, a concept Amanda is obsessed with throughout the novel, which highlights one of the book’s main themes. The rescue distance refers to the distance Amanda would have to cover to save her daughter Nina if something horrible were to happen. She feels it like a rope tied between the two of them that grows taut in times of danger. In the end, though, when the real danger presented itself, she failed to feel anything and the rescue distance concept let her down. In this way, motherhood plays a major role in the novel, and how mothers, in spite of their best efforts, cannot always protect their children…in fact, often become the cause of their child’s tragedy.

Great book, beautifully written and translated, thought provoking and entertaining.

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