Hugo & Rose * by Bridget Foley would be the Calgon for any beleaguered housewife - the ultimate escape. For Rose though, it is a bit more complicated.
For thirty years, since a traumatic accident in childhood, Rose has the same dream every night - stranded on a deserted island with a brave boy named Hugo, having incredible adventures. These exciting dreams overshadow her waking life - that of being a suburban mother of three, married to an overworked and often absent surgeon.
When Rose stumbles across Hugo in real life, both her real and dream worlds are changed forever. This chance encounter begins a cascade of questions, lies, and a dangerous obsession that threatens to topple everything she knows.
"Debut-novelist Foley, a screenwriter, brings a cinematic sensibility to both fantastical descriptions of the dream island and depictions of the mundane real world... (this) imaginative and insightful novel will hold readers spellbound as it builds to a stunning conclusion." Would appeal to fans of Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon.
The Bookseller * by Cynthia Swanson has been called "a stunner of a debut novel, astonishingly tight and fast paced."
Denver, 1962. Cat-loving spinsterly Kitty Miller, part-owner of the floundering Sisters Bookstore leads a simple if solitary life. That is, until she starts waking up in 1963 as Katharyn Andersson, wife of architect Lars, mother of triplets, in a sleek, suburban life filled with maids and nannies, Cadillacs and cocktail parties.
As Kitty investigates her parallel worlds, she starts to doubt the choices she's made in her daytime life but she also discovers that her dream life is not as perfect as it appears. "Dexterously traversing past and present, fact and fiction, Swanson's clever first novel ingeniously explores the inventive ways the human spirit copes with trauma."
"The 1960s tone is elegant and even, and Kitty/Katharyn's journey is intriguing, redolent with issues of family, independence, friendship, and free will. This will especially resonate with fans of the movie Sliding Doors and works by Anna Quindlen and Anita Shreve."
* = starred review