rEview/ A Wake for the Dreamland

Inspired by actual love letters and newspaper clippings, A Wake for Dreamland tells the story of a love triangle set around the Second World War

BY PAULA E. KIRMAN

A Wake for the Dreamland is an impressive first novel for Laurel Deedrick-Mayne. A former arts administrator, Deedrick-Mayne was born in Lacombe and now lives in Edmonton. Her writing is well-paced and creates a snapshot of life in Edmonton during and after World War II.

Laurel Deedrick-Mayne's 'A Wake for the Dreamland'

Set right before the war breaks out in 1939, A Wake for the Dreamland follows the lives of Robert, Annie, and William. The trio are the best of friends, with Robert and Annie very much in love. While serving with the military, Robert makes William promise to always look after Annie if something happens to him. From that statement, it is not difficult to conclude that something does indeed happen to Robert, and what follows is a complicated web of lives that become intertwined through both love and circumstances. 

Through story-telling laced with letters and poetry, the plot weaves throughout the world, including London and Italy. A Wake for the Dreamland is about love, friendship, overcoming inner demons, and striving to get home again. It is quite ambitious - and long, without being plodding. Much of the novel focuses on character development, as well as the historical settings.  

The novel was inspired by Deedrick-Mayne's family letters, clippings, stories, and poetry. A Wake for the Dreamland is historical romance for contemporary readers.

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