Monday, April 20, 2015

Imaginary Things by Andrea Lochen

Imaginary Things

Imaginary Things by Andrea Lochen
Paperback and e-book, 400 pages
Published April 1st 2015 by Astor + Blue Editions

Watching children play and invent whimsical games of fantasy is one of life's great joys. But what if you could actually see your child's imagination as it unfolded? And what would you do if your child's imagination suddenly became dark and threatening?

Burned-out and broke, twenty-two-year-old single mother Anna Jennings moves to her grandparents' rural home for the summer with her four-year-old son, David. The sudden appearance of shadowy dinosaurs forces Anna to admit that either she's lost her mind or she can actually see her son's active imagination. Frightened for David's safety, Anna struggles to learn the rules of this bizarre phenomenon and how best to protect him. But what she uncovers along the way is completely unexpected: revelations about what her son's imaginary friends truly represent and dark secrets about her own childhood imaginary friend.

Living next door is Jamie Presswood, Anna's childhood friend who's grown much more handsome and hardened than the boy she once knew. But past regrets and their messy lives are making the rekindling of their complex friendship prove easier said than done. Between imaginary creatures stalking her son and a tumultuous relationship with David's biological father, Anna may find it impossible to have room in her life or her heart for another man. But as David's visions become more threatening, Anna must learn to differentiate between which dangers are real and which are imagined, and whom she can truly trust.

Purchase Imaginary Things

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Astor + Blue

My thoughts about Imaginary Things ~~ 

This book had me from the synopsis. Children have such great imaginations and probably most of us had an imaginary friend at some point in our youth. Then the thought of someone else being able to see those imaginary friends? That is an awesome idea for a story. 
'If King Rex was David’s imaginary friend, and I could see King Rex, that meant I could see David's imagination. I could see as clear as day the things he was inventing in his mind. And apparently he had inherited his over-active imagination from me.'
Imaginary Things is unlike any story I have ever read. I thought it would be a fun, whimsical story about a little boy and his make-believe friends. It was so much more than that. Anna is a young mother who is trying to do the right things for herself and her son, all while trying to protect her young child from the evil in their lives. But sometimes it's not so easy to differentiate between good and evil. 

As Anna tries to understand what David's imaginary friends want and what they are trying to tell her, she has to work through what her own childhood imaginary friend meant to her. And who were the good guys in her youth? Who were the bad ones? 
'There were so many things to be afraid of - some real, some imagined - and it seemed impossible to know the difference until it was too late.'
I loved Imaginary Friends. It is a very well written story and I was hooked from the first page. I was immediately comfortable with the characters and I didn't want to put the book down. I love the way Andrea tells a story and I am definitely going to be reading more of her work. She has now been added to my list of ‘must-read' authors.

And don't you just love the cover? I know I do! 

About the author

Andrea Lochen is the author of two novels. Her first novel, The Repeat Year (Penguin 2013), was praised by Kirkus Reviews as “an engaging, satisfying read that explores friendship, love and who we really are when it truly matters.” A draft of the novel won the 2008 Hopwood Novel Award. The Repeat Year was also produced as an audiobook (Brilliance Audio) and translated into a German edition (Ullstein Buchverlage). The film option was sold to Ineffable Pictures. Andrea’s second novel, Imaginary Things, is forthcoming from Astor + Blue in April 2015. Lori Nelson Spielman, bestselling author of The Life List, called it, “a beautiful book, filled with vivid scenes, unforgettable characters, and oodles of heart. With a page-turning plot and an utterly unique concept, Imaginary Things entertains, inspires, and provokes thought—a perfect book club pick.”

Andrea earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she was a Colby Fellow. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the Fiction Editor of The Madison Review, a nationally-distributed, student-run literary magazine. Since 2008, she has taught undergraduate writing at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and was recently awarded the UW Colleges Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Andrea currently lives in Madison with her husband and daughter and is at work on her third novel.

Connect with Andrea

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