Review: Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (Spoiler-Free)
I don’t believe that history holds easy answers or simple lessons, because those answers and lessons are stretched out over thousands—millions—of untold stories. But I do believe that if we seek those stories out, and if we listen to them and talk to each other with open hearts and minds, we can start to heal. I believe that good people working together can create meaningful change.
I picked this up as a way to participate in BooksandLaLa's buzzwordathon challenge for this year! I'm challenging myself to read one book with the word for each month in the title, and for January that happened to be the word 'dream.' I'm so glad that I decided to participate, because otherwise I might not have gotten to read this wonderful book.
I think I've figured out what I like in historical fiction. It seems that I prefer YA, multiple POV (and/or timeline), with an element of mystery. The way this book was written reminded me so much of The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes, and I'd highly recommend that anyone who liked one should pick up the other.
This book is paced absolutely perfectly. It manages to weave together two timelines so seamlessly, while not causing them to become meddled or confusing. The Tulsa race riot was not something I'd ever heard about before, and I'm grateful that this book has now introduced me to the topic. The dual timelines were also an excellent way to demonstrate how history still very much affects the world today.
I don't think I'm the best person to evaluate how well-portrayed the representation and dialogue around race relations in this book is, so I'd encourage you to read reviews from Black readers for more insight on that.
I personally found this to be a very powerful read, and I'm eager to pick up more historical fiction, as it seems to be a genre I neglect but very much enjoy.