Midsummer Dreams by Ian Riddle

Thank you to the author and Love Books Tours for the copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.

Let’s start with the blurb: Midsummer Dreams is a lyrical history of the lives, loves and, in particular, the dreams of several of the inhabitants of the small village of Treddoch Harbour. Treddoch, as it’s referred to locally, is a fictional, atypical, once fishing, now touristy, community situated on Cornwall’s southern coast. Everybody has their dreams, though none more so than the inhabitants of Treddoch. In their case, and this is where they differ from the mainstream, as well as having their own, personal dreams, the residents of Treddoch Harbour also have the one dream, the overarching dream, that singular dream that binds them as a community. This is the dream of having a ‘good Season’. For many of them, who rely on the tourists for their income, their money’s only to be made in the summer, when the tourists are abroad. Winter months can be dire.
The action is set on the one day, Midsummer’s Day, starting at dawn and ending with dusk. The story’s told through the voice of a tour guide as he takes the reader around the village, introducing the characters one by one, starting with the late Butcher and his Wife, now interred in the local cemetery!

Here’s my review: As a lover of Shakespearean plays, I fell for this beautiful book immediately. The reader is led around Treddoch by a tour guide, much akin to a Shakespearean Chorus. The lyrical prose flows gently from character to character, as soothing as a babbling brook.

The cast list at the start paints a picture in itself of who we will meet and despite it being quite lengthy, each character had their own mini arc and cake alive on the page for me. Even the animals’ personalities and dreams are explored, including Bastet, the aristocratic cat.

The whole, unique novel takes place over the course of one day, and I’d like to come back to it again in future to remind myself of the folk of Treddoch.

Rating: 4 out of 5.