Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Dream Room by Marcel Moring

"The Dream Room" by Marcel Moring is about a small family. There is the mother, father, son and grandparents. The family lives in England. The grandparents are of Dutch and English descent. When the book begins, the family are faced with hard ecnomic times. It is after WWII. When the mother also loses her job, a neighbor has the perfect idea. This family will help him with his business. It is a dream come true.

The neighbor is a doll doctor. He also sells airplane kits to hobbyists. For whatever reason, customers are coming into the shop looking at the completed airplanes hanging from the ceiling instead of looking at the kits on the shelves. The art of crafting has gone by the wayside. Why buy the kit? If the plane is already put together, buy the ready made. Perhaps, the war is to be blamed. People fear the passing of time. Time and life are fragile.

David's family live above the doll hospital. The family decides to put the planes together for their neighbor, the doll doctor. I like to think a lot of love and thought went into building each airplane. The father had been an air pilot during the war. When his parachute crashed, by serendipity he discovered his soon to be wife. She was his nurse while he recuperated from many broken bones.

This book is about love and dreams on many different levels. I especially enjoyed reading about the romance between David's father and mother. The way they met one another is unforgettable. There is the mother's love of the Dream Room at David's grandfather's home. In the Dream Room is a curved window and a seat where David's mother would sit dreaming while looking out to sea or reading a book that takes her faraway. Then, of course, there is the father's love of flying. "When he flew his mind emptied and there was nothing but the thrust of the plane...." There is also David's passion for cooking. I love culinary books. This part of the book was really enjoyable to me. I always see male chefs in restaurants or in a movie or on tv. I never think about what these men must have been like as little boys. It's fascinating.

Also, I felt throughout the book a feeling of crossing the globe: Paris, England, Holland and Germany. It made me think about the origins of ourselves and our neighbors. We are complex. Each of us is made up of many different places like a patchworked globe. We are like roses, petal upon petal, layers and layers of shaded differences brought together by the beginnings of love. At the end of the book, Marcel Moring keeps us in the Dream Room through the words of a fable. I will think more about that fable tonight.

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