- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 2 hours and 55 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Daniel Maldonado
- Audible.com Release Date: April 13, 2017
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B071QWRWZ9
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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When Dreams Abound: Chambers Lane Series, Book 2 Audiobook – Unabridged
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Review by Roy Hunt
As I age, I find myself drawn to the type of story that Daniel Maldonado is trying to tell here, rather than the typical martial arts/political-industrial espionage stories and novels of my earlier years. This novel is an exploration of what really matters in life: family, work, struggle, the bittersweet feeling of love, neglect, abandonment, loss, with the odd success, hard won, mixed in. It is said that all political careers end in failure, but I believe all lives end in failure eventually. To my mind, this novel explores these issues.
“When Dreams Abound” opens in the spring of 1977 and charts the life of the Mendoza family. In particular, the life of the younger son, Daniel, as he goes from boy (He is turning twelve as the story begins), to man, without a father. His mother is capable but indifferent and cares little for the struggles of her obviously intelligent son, even though that son accomplishes a lot of what he does to try and win her approval.
In many ways, this is a sad story. His older brother, Jose Luis, is dim-witted, greedy and uncaring. He has one older sister, Maria, who avoids him because of ‘his strange and often awkward demeanour’ he believes, and his younger sister, Sylvia was ‘oblivious to Daniel’s absences’. Daniel sees himself as ‘a stranger in a strange family’.
Daniel daydreams about sitting around the table with his father and the rest of his family. The sad reality is that they all eat in their own bedrooms.
Daniel must use his intelligence to cope when the guiding hand of a caring father is absent. He does this extremely well. He meets various characters along the way, including one, the mechanical engineer Perry, who gets ripped off making medical devices and yet Perry himself is a womaniser, frustrated by his drunken wife’s lack of sexual desire.
Despite all this, Daniel excels in schools. He graduates head of his class of ’83 and goes on to get a degree in aerospace engineering. However, finding this more constricting than he had imagined, he succeeds in getting work with a leading law firm.
He marries. But Daniel never really escapes his past. It follows him throughout life and at one point he even hires an investigator to try and find his father.
This is a story full of pathos, a description of a life that could be mine or yours. If I had a fault with the work, I would say Daniel Maldonado did not delve deep enough into the pathos of an unfulfilled life. He is by profession an attorney who specialises in insurance law and perhaps some of this distance and innate caution is to be seen in his writing. But he is on the right track with the subject matter and should pursue this line, he’s good at it. A compelling read.
I did find the story lost the flow at some points
I really Liked the "back to the future" moments where the story mentions something that would happen in a certain place in the future
Beautiful descriptions throughout the book.
Overall a nice short coming off age story.
Recommend to fans of short stories and fictions set in the past.