Author: Cherie Burbach
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Year Published: 2023
“Nerdection Must Read”
The Space Between Dreaming, by Cherie Burbach is a women’s fiction with the potential of a self-help book. It’s take on art, healing from traumas, and friendship is what made me fall in love with it, and I’m sure you will too!
Continue reading this review for the spoiler-free plot and my take on The Space Between Dreaming.
Spoiler-free Plot Of The Space Between Dreaming
The Space Between Dreaming is a touching story of two women who are haunted by their traumatic pasts. There’s Jane, struggling to find a husband who doesn’t turn out like her dependent father, and there’s Grace, heartbroken about not being able to become a mother.
Both Jane and Grace, being born in broken families, strive for things that will eventually make them happy. But their efforts are undermined by people around them. And fate doesn’t seem to be making things any better.
However, while Grace is devastated by her inability to conceive, John, her loving husband, starts painting as a way to mourn their loss. Soon, the couple meets with Jane at an art exhibition. John’s recent painting, called ‘The Space Between Dreaming’ is displayed there. Surprisingly, both women admire the painting, as it appears to accurately portray the story of their lives, and become close friends.
Both help each other heal their traumas. Jane’s eighty-years-old kindhearted landlady, Mrs. Ferch introduces them to a new approach to living life, one that helps them leave their depressing pasts behind.
In this artsy feminine fiction, The Space Between Dreaming, Cherie Burbach takes a unique approach to addressing the trials faced by women, and the unsung power of art and painting in this regard.
My Take on The Space Between Dreaming
If you love reading about art, trauma-healing and women’s fiction, you will absolutely adore this book!
Cherie Burbach’s writing is surprisingly vivid, this being her debut attempt. She can take you inside the character’s mind within a span of words, all the things they’re struggling with put bare before you. The prose isn’t flowery, but gentle enough to nudge you into relating your traumas too, and heal as the characters do.
I adored the idea of Jane and Grace healing with the help of art. Their traumas seemed so heart wrenching, but real and totally relatable. I especially related to the way Jane and Grace ‘s future plans were inspired by things they couldn’t get in their childhoods. Their notion of a happy life was everything they were denied as a child– love, financial stability, or to be finally accepted in the society.
The Space Before Dreaming illustrates the common themes in every woman’s life, from wanting to be held to needing to comfort, from a desire for independence to a need to be cared for, and from recognizing her blessings to striving for more. She is every woman, and no woman, all at once. Because she, like each of us, is completely unique.The caption of John’s painting called ‘The Space Between Dreaming’
Moreover, ‘The Space Between Dreaming’ features beautifully resonant characters, particularly the women. Jane being a worn out workaholic just to support a family she would have, her desire for her future-husband to have a ‘real job’; these are things every woman endeavors for. Yet a few people see the struggle.
Similarly, Grace was a woman renounced by the society for a thing she was not even responsible for: not being able to conceive. Being a wife in her forties without children was like a curse on her, and time seemed to be slipping from her grasp.
My favorite character in The Space Between Dreaming was John, Grace’s husband. He was so kind and supportive, and I dare say, Grace was so lucky to have him. I also like how he handled his grief by spilling it like paint on a canvas, creating masterpieces.
And can I just say how heart aesthetically lyrical the ‘prologue’ of the book is? Just reading the prologue will seal the deal for you.
The space between dreaming potrayed various ways in which people grieve. Grace did that by denying it, imagining a room where the mother who never loved her was caring for the child she could never have. Jane projected hers on being extra cautious, wanting to marry a guy who won’t depend on her, like her father did on her mother. John grieved by turning to God, thanking for the things he had in life and painting his grief away.
The space between dreaming nicely handles many feminine topics. Not only that, it also elucidates how traumas of life affect our everyday choices and how to leave them behind. Burbach’s approach to integrating the concept of ‘art’ and ‘painting’ for healing your inner, festering wounds is something I highly appreciate. It reminded me if how much I love art myself, and that you don’t need to be a great artist for painting. And as art is born from the deepest parts of grief, everyone can undoubtedly paint as a way for catharsis.
Content Warnings & Age Rating
Generational trauma, Miscarriage, Alcohol abuse, some explicit content. The Space Between Dreaming handles many mature topics and is intended for adults, say 18+.
About the Author of The space Between Dreaming
Cherie Burbach has been an artist and writer since she was a child. Words and images have always been linked for her when it comes to expression and creativity. She spent a decade as a freelance writer, penning articles for NBC/Universal, NYTimes Christianity Today, and more. She is the author of many nonfiction, poetry, and kid’s books. In addition, she recently designed a family card game called Cupcake Commotion and published her first novel. For more, visit cherieburbach.com.