Dream World: Tales of American Life in the 20th Century by William Charles Kreb is a story about two young college students who are entering a world without their parents’ watchful eye and into the world of love, lust and expectations in marriage.
The story opens with Liz Anderson, 17, who dreams of going to college in another state and her parents make her wait. It isn’t until her 19th birthday that she decides to go to Lake Shore College in Florida and assert her independence. The summer before school starts she gets a job as a tour guide at Dream World, an amusement park, which many students from Lake Shore work. It is there she meets, Willie Johnson, a young man who comes to Florida for spring break and decides to come back for college. He soon gets a job at Dream World. Liz and Willie casually date during that summer when something happens which leaves Liz hurt and Willie dating someone else. Willie soon realizes his mistake about breaking up with Liz and now he must fight to win back her affections as a new man enters her life. Both Liz and Willie struggle to find their place in the world, to form their own ideals and forge their own paths in life. Will Willie be able to win Liz back? Will someone win her heart?
I liked this book. I enjoyed the sparing between characters about life, love and marriage. Willie is the frugal man who wants love and marriage and Liz doesn’t know what she wants. The new man, Mike, is the typical egoistical pig who thinks he can get any woman because of his money. I love the scene where Liz gives Mike a speech which shows him that she is not the kind of woman who falls in love (and bed) with any man just because he flashes money and a handsome smile her way. I love how she poked holes in his proposal when basically points out that he wanted a wife without the legal bidding marriage. She also shows Willie that if he wants her back, he will have to work hard to win her heart. I also loved how the ending leaves the reader without a definitive answer if Willie and Liz get back together.
Tales of American Life in the 20th Century
is available on Amazon in paperback for $34.95