#77. Marianne Dreams

Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr, illustrated by Marjorie-Ann Watts

Pages: 204
Finished: Sept. 18, 2007
Reason for Reading: one of the books I chose for the RIP challenge
First Published: 1958
Genre: children's fiction, Gothic
Rating: 3.5/5

First Sentence:

Marianne had looked forward to her tenth birthday as being something special; quite different from any birthday she had yet had, for two reasons.

Comments: Marianne is a bedridden invalid and when she draws a house with a pencil found in her grandmother's sewing basket she finds herself in the drawing whenever she sleeps. In this dream world she meets a lonely boy, also an invalid, and together they become very frightened as the dreams become more sinister. This was a very atmospheric story, both dark and gloomy. There are some quite frightening scenes that I imagine would have scared me as a child. I really enjoyed the plot and found it a very unique premise but at only 204 pages it wasn't developed enough. I'd recommend this if you enjoy British children's books from this era such as Phillipa Pearce or Lucy M. Boston.


  1. this is one of my favourite books since i was a child. i'm not sure what you mean about it not being developed enough - where do you think there are missing bits?

    i found it pretty scary as a kid, but kind of liked that, although i did have some dreams about the stones with eyes!

    i still read it again every now and then.

  2. I love Lucy M. Boston! When I was little, I really, really wanted to find myself at Greene Knowe one day. So now of course this one has to go on the TBR list.

  3. Hi ravaj!

    Well, there just seemed to be something missing from the story. Why was this happening? what was the ultimate goal of the stone people? what was the background of the pencil? Had her grandmother or mother ever used it? I just think with another 100 or so pages the author could have developed the dream world more, given us more of a background to it.

    But, yeah, I did enjoy it. Pretty creepy, and I think if I'd read it as a kid I would have found it pretty scary too! I'm glad it was illustrated too because it added to the atmosphere so much.


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