The Queen of Dreamland

2.71 avg rating
( 14 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780689804588: The Queen of Dreamland

After accepting an invitation to Dreamland, young Julie finally meets her real mother, an interpreter of dreams, and feels, at first, that she is better than her adoptive parents, yet things take a sudden turn and Julie soon realizes the difference between fantasy and reality.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Tomey (The Neptune Princess) explores adoption-related issues in this initially far-fetched yet intermittently touching story. Julie thinks life with her dowdy, 50-something parents couldn't be more stultifying?they are utterly predictable and virtually smothering in their adoration of her. On her 14th birthday, Julie is lured to a meeting with her birth mother (who has the unlikely, retro-movie-star name Loretta Young). Operating the dream-interpretation equivalent of a psychic hotline, Loretta, whose flamboyant, gum-cracking, trash-fashion persona represents the appealingly exotic antithesis of Julie's flannel-slipper-wearing parents, is just this side of a caricature. Lying to her parents, Julie spends her Saturdays with Loretta and her wheelchair-bound son?Julie's half-brother?and begins giving Loretta the valuable objects laid aside for Julie in a hope chest. As Julie's lies to her parents multiply, so does her sense of guilt. Personalities painted in broad strokes early on reveal somewhat more nuance as the story progresses. The revelation that Loretta accepted cash from Julie's parents in order to go through with the adoption raises valuable questions, and ends the novel on a far less pat note than that on which it began. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Julie, 14, was adopted as an infant by the Soluses but is now consumed by the need to know her real parents. When a mysterious card inviting her to Dreamland for a free palm reading appears in her school locker, Julie follows it up. Dreamland turns out to be a big old house, part of which is rented out to Loretta Young and her wheelchair-bound son, Bagley. Loretta is Julie's real mother, a garishly dressed, illiterate fake who makes a living by interpreting horoscopes and reading the palms of the gullible. Julie is too infatuated with Loretta to see her for what she is; her eyes are opened when she learns that her real mother didn't give her away, but sold her. After some melodramatic moments, the story concludes with everyone forgiving, understanding, and loving everyone else. Few readers will care about any of the unattractive characters in this dreary tale from Tomey (Grandfather's Day, 1992, etc.): Julie is selfish and unpleasant; Loretta is cardboard; the Soluses are colorless; and Bagley is in service to the plot, and not a character at all. (Fiction. 10-14) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Ingrid Tomey
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