Followin' a Dream
A good summer book has to have certain qualities. Good characters, brisk pacing, an engaging plot – but not so engaging that you have to strain your brain on those 90 degree days. Followin A Dream fits all these criteria.
Vanessa Bradley is a thirtyish woman whose life has revolved around work, her family and community service. It’s a good life, but lacking passion and thrills. When she meets Xavier Johnson she feels a flutter of possibility, but circumstances and pride keep them from connecting right away. Vanessa’s mother decides to lend a hand in setting them up, which is not received well, and later she takes a vacation to Australia and disappears on the day she is supposed to return. A frantic Vanessa travels across the globe to try and recover her mom.
Xavier Johnson feels a connection with Vanessa right away and is frustrated with her attempts to distance herself from him. A snafu in the museum project Xavier is in charge of causes him to make an impromptu trip to Australia as well. He has to try and determine who is standing in the way of his Aboriginal exhibit, and the pursuit of their separate goals brings he and Vanessa closer together.
Followin A Dream is successful as a love story and a road romance. The characters are believable and likable – especially Vanessa’s mother. Normally, meddling moms bug the heck out of me, but she was less a stereotypical plot device than a real person with her own hopes and issues.
So what’s not to like? It’s a little too long. In the third act, Vanessa and Xavier have a misunderstanding that is driven more by plot requirements than character. It is blown out of proportion, especially considering what they have been through together. It seems like it shouldn’t have been enough to seriously fracture their relationship. The prose could also get a little “new age” at times.
If summer has you longing for a romance with modern characters and interesting locations, Followin A Dream is worth a look.