“Of Dreams and Angels” by Jared Morrison

Of Dreams and Angels

Jared Morrison
Independently Published (2021)
ISBN 9781777534608
Reviewed by Megan Weiss for Reader Views (01/2022)

“Of Dreams and Angels” by Jared Morrison is filled with intense love and, unfortunately, tragedy. Protagonist, Joe Riley, is a 37-year-old successful businessman who has attained all he ever thought he would need in life. He has a fantastic job, considerable wealth and a stellar reputation in his industry. He didn’t bother himself with trivial things, like romance or fairytales, until one night when he experiences a strange dream.

And then it happens again…and again…and again. Without any explanation he can think of, he starts dreaming of living as a woman named Claire. At first, he plays it off as an alarmingly over-active imagination. As the nights go by, however, and the dreams feel more real and he starts being able to hear and feel what Claire does and says, he comes to the realization that Claire is a real person. She’s a recently divorced mother of three with an outspoken, protective sister, and Claire works as a journalist and editor for a reputable publication in England. Joe also comes to realize that she might just be the woman of his dreams. And before he can stop it, he finds himself falling in love with a woman he’s never met. Eventually that meeting does occur, but there’s a catch as to the love part: time. Claire’s health is in rapid decline, and despite the doctors’ efforts to help her, it seems that she will leave this earth sooner than either of them could have imagined.

“Of Dreams and Angels” is a tableau of romance, passion and heartache. Joe Riley starts out as a no-nonsense, strict businessman who thrives off routine and reality. Throwing caution to the wind in order to find a woman he falls in love with through dreams is preposterous, but it unveils a whole new persona. Over the course of the book, I was impressed with his character development. He opened up a little more with each dream, each encounter with Claire. With the help of an older, wiser friend named William, Joe learns how to follow his heart and allow his emotions to be felt. Even though, in the end he could be robbed of the fairytale anyway, this relationship does allow Joe to learn the depth and passion of love. Joe may have gotten his success thus far in life by following a schedule, but life rarely plays by the rules and is unpredictable, which is part of Joe’s education.

I found “Of Dreams and Angels” to start off a tad slow, and the pacing might have been quicker without some of the exposition. Once I got past the first 60 pages or so, however, it started to pick up and I found myself reading larger portions at a time as I got sucked in further. Once Joe made the decision to find her, then it was pretty smooth sailing. At the same time, the slow build in the beginning kind of works for this book, because the tone at the start is consistent with how Joe thinks and acts at that point in his life. To go from being a man who strictly avoids relationships to willingly building one with this woman and her family, even though it could all crumble in the end, is incredibly difficult for an author to emulate. But, he has done that just fine.

All of the characters in “Of Dreams and Angels” are full and vibrant, with distinct personalities and roles to play in the overarching plot of the story. Coupled with the tender, yet admittedly heartbreaking circumstances Joe and Claire find themselves in, Morrison has crafted a read that will leave even the most stoic of readers misty-eyed. I would especially recommend the book to fans of Nicholas Sparks, Hallmark movies, and Jodi Picoult. But readers be warned: this story packs a meaningful punch with themes about love that will stay with you long after you’ve read the last word.

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