Jake, Lucid Dreamer by David J. Naiman deals in a fictional, heart wrenching manner with what occurs after the death of a parent and how children can handle such a loss. Twelve-year-old Jake is grappling with the loss of his mother who passed away 4 years ago after a harrowing sickness. To deal with his loss, Jake escapes into the world of dreams. After four years, Jake’s father is still struggling to support his children over the loss of their mother while trying to have a normal life by starting to date. Jake is at that awkward age where he grapples between childhood and growing into adulthood, which is difficult in the best of circumstances. Jake gradually realizes that his dad and sister are also in pain as he finally connects with them.
Jake, the protagonist of Lucid Dreamer, is a Middle School boy dealing with the death of his mother, while also dealing with mundane issues many boys face, including bullying. The story is realistically heartbreaking and the author has succeeded in aptly entering the mind of a tormented 12-year-old. One wonders at times if the story is based on a biographical experience or if the author is simply a master at his craft of writing. David J. Naiman is an expert at character development. His characters are lifelike and relatable. Jake’s father is extremely convincing as a parent and husband dealing with the loss of a partner. Parents and children would enjoy and profit by reading this book together. When it is difficult to articulate suffering and sorrow, this thought-provoking novel would serve as an honest exploration of emotional healing after an upsetting loss.